Use of biologics for treatment of autoimmune inner ear disease

Bailey Balouch, Ryan Meehan, Aishwarya Suresh, Haniah A. Zaheer, Abdur Rahman Jabir, Anas M. Qatanani, Vishal Suresh, Syed Z. Kaleem, Brian J. McKinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: Biologic medications are novel therapeutics in the treatment of Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease (AIED), an etiology of Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL). The goal of this study is to review the currently available literature on the efficacy of biologic medications on autoimmune-mediated hearing loss and associated symptomology among patients with AIED. Methods: A systematic review of Pubmed, Scopus, Cochrane, and Web of Science databases was conducted to identify studies investigating the impact of biologic medications on hearing outcomes. Bias assessment was independently conducted by three authors and studies were stratified based on risk of bias. Results: Of 174 unique abstracts screened, 12 articles met inclusion criteria for formal review. One randomized control trial, seven prospective cohort studies, and four retrospective cohort studies were included. Seven biologic medications, Etanercept, Infliximab, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Rituximab, Anakinra, and Canakinumab, were identified targeting three unique molecular targets, TNF-α, CD20, and IL-1. Conclusion: The effects of biologic medications in treating SNHL was highly variable without clear efficacy of a drug or drug category, likely due to rarity of disease, multifactorial etiologies of AIED, and cohort heterogeneity. However, several medications alleviate symptoms associated with AIED, such as vertigo and tinnitus. While biologic medications may be promising therapeutics in AIED patients, the evidence is currently inconclusive. Large-scale randomized control trials and prospective cohort reviews are required to establish the efficacy of biologic medications in treating hearing loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103576
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Biologics
  • CD20 inhibitors
  • IL-1 inhibitors
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • TNF-inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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