Patients with autoimmune inner-ear disease (AIED) are treated with high doses of steroids in the short term when suffering an acute hearing loss. As a consequence, substances such as methotrexate have been employed in the role of steroid-sparing agents. Additionally, it is known that tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) is an important mediator of the inflammatory process, inhibition of which may be of benefit in AIED. This case report illustrates the use of a TNFα inhibitor in combination with methotrexate, which is known to be an effective combination in rheumatoid arthritis but has yet to be described for sensorineural hearing loss. We conclude that progressive AIED may respond well to TNFα inhibition, whilst more difficult cases, such as this example, could benefit from combining such therapy with methotrexate.
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