Ototopic applications of povidone iodine/dexamethasone in the rat

Karen Pawlowski, Elena Koulich, Charles G. Wright, Peter Roland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


HYPOTHESIS: Repeated applications of low-concentration povidone iodine (PI) combined with dexamethasone (Dex) through a tympanic membrane ventilation tube will not cause ototoxic changes in the rat. BACKGROUND: Otitis externa (OE) and acute otitis media (AOM) are 2 of the most common otologic disorders requiring outpatient antibiotic treatment. The development of topical treatments that are easy to administer would help to limit systemic exposure to antibiotics in these patients. Topical formulations containing Dex and low-dose PI were designed to provide both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects for the treatment of OE and AOM. Treatment with PI alone has shown mixed results in studies designed to determine PI. Low concentrations of PI combined with Dex should yield less ototoxicity while maintaining effectiveness. METHODS: We performed tympanostomies on rats, inserting a ventilation tube to administer 1% or 2% PI, plus 0.1% Dex over a period of 7 days. Hearing was accessed via auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing over the duration of the study and histologic analysis was performed 15 days after the initial application to determine the effect of administration of PI/Dex on middle and inner ear structures. CONCLUSION: The preparations used in the present investigation were formulated to allow repeated applications to both the external and middle ear, without risk to hearing or equilibrium. Neither of the PI/Dex formulations tested caused pathologic changes in the ear that significantly affected equilibrium, hearing function or morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-174
Number of pages8
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Auditory brainstem response
  • Hair cell count
  • Ototoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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