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Nitrous Oxide Treatment for Tinnitus

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03365011
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 7, 2017
Results First Posted : November 6, 2018
Last Update Posted : December 14, 2018
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Washington University School of Medicine

Brief Summary:
Tinnitus is perception of sound without the presence of an external acoustic stimulus. Approximately 50 million Americans experience chronic tinnitus and of these, 10 million have bothersome tinnitus. The tinnitus research literature suggests that NMDA receptor antagonists may prove to be useful in reducing tinnitus. Nitrous oxide, a member of the NMDA receptor antagonist class, is a widely-used general anesthetic and sedative with a proven safety profile. The investigators hypothesized that the administration of nitrous oxide, an NMDA receptor antagonist, may be effective in treatment of tinnitus. The study design was a randomized placebo-controlled crossover trial.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Tinnitus Drug: Nitrous oxide gas for inhalation Drug: Placebo gas for inhalation Phase 4

Detailed Description:

Subjective, idiopathic, non-pulsatile tinnitus ("tinnitus") is perception of sound without the presence of an external acoustic stimulus. Approximately 50 million Americans experience chronic tinnitus and of these, 10 million have bothersome tinnitus. Bothersome tinnitus is associated with poorer working memory, slower processing speeds and reaction times, and deficiencies in selective attention.

Currently, effective therapies for tinnitus remain limited. Examples of therapies include external sound therapy to mask the perceived sound, behavioral therapy to habituate the patient to the perceived sound, and counseling such as cognitive behavioral therapy to address the bother and impact that tinnitus has on people's lives. Surgical treatment such as nerve transection remains controversial given its lack of efficacy and adverse event profile. There are no drugs approved by the FDA for the treatment of tinnitus. Antidepressant and antianxiety medications are prescribed to patients with tinnitus with limited benefit.

Nitrous oxide is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, a class of drugs shown to have antidepressant effects. A previous trial examined the use of nitrous oxide as a treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). Generally, NMDA receptors promote excitation at synapses throughout the auditory pathway and play diverse roles in synaptic development and auditory information processing. In the setting of chronic damage to the auditory system, overactivation of NMDA receptors leads to aberrant spontaneous neuronal firing in the cochlea and auditory brainstem structures, which can further perpetuate damage and disease in a feed-forward mechanism. Studies by Guitton et al. and Puel et al. showed that administration of NMDA receptor antagonists prior to the administration of salicylate was effective in preventing acute excitotoxic tinnitus, establishing that salicylate induces tinnitus through its action on NMDA receptors. Thus, NMDA receptors are thought to be implicated in the generation and perpetuation of several auditory diseases including tinnitus. The investigators hypothesized that the administration of nitrous oxide, an NMDA receptor antagonist, may be a therapeutic strategy in the treatment of tinnitus.

The study was a randomized placebo-controlled crossover trial. Each participant attended two intervention sessions, one "treatment" and one "placebo". Participants eligible to participate in the study were randomly assigned to receive either placebo followed by nitrous oxide or nitrous oxide followed by placebo, according to a computer-generated randomization sequence. Only the statistician and the anesthesiology team directly involved in administration of nitrous oxide and placebo had access to the group assignments. All participants and other study team members administering survey assessments remained blinded. The two intervention sessions were held at least two weeks apart and were indistinguishable in setting, setup, and monitoring in order to maintain blinding for the participants and study team members. All intervention sessions were performed at the Washington University Clinical Research Unit, a component of the Center for Applied Research Sciences.


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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 40 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Nitrous Oxide as Treatment for Tinnitus: A Randomized Crossover Trial
Actual Study Start Date : October 2016
Actual Primary Completion Date : June 2017
Actual Study Completion Date : July 2017

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Tinnitus

Arm Intervention/treatment
Placebo Comparator: Placebo

Placebo was defined as 50% nitrogen and 50% oxygen for 40 minutes.

Participants are blinded to the order of interventions administered. Participants have been informed prior to consent that one session will contain the nitrous oxide gas mixture, and the other session will contain the placebo gas mixture.

Drug: Placebo gas for inhalation
Placebo gaseous mixture (50% nitrogen and 50% oxygen) for 40 minutes duration under anesthesia supervision with monitoring according to standards set by the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Experimental: Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide treatment was defined as 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen for 40 minutes.

Participants are blinded to the order of interventions administered. Participants have been informed prior to consent that one session will contain the nitrous oxide gas mixture, and the other session will contain the placebo gas mixture.

Drug: Nitrous oxide gas for inhalation
Nitrous oxide gaseous mixture (50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen) for 40 minutes duration under anesthesia supervision with monitoring according to standards set by the American Society of Anesthesiologists.




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) Score [ Time Frame: Pre-intervention and 1 week post-intervention ]

    Change of participant-reported tinnitus symptoms 1 week after each intervention.

    The Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) is a 25-question survey assessing tinnitus impact on quality of life. Participants were asked to rate on a scale from 0-10 the degree of unpleasantness, cognitive interference, sleep disturbance, auditory difficulties, interference with relaxation, and emotional distress associated with their tinnitus. Subscores are summed and scaled to a score of 0-100. A score less than 25 indicates mild problems due to tinnitus and little need for intervention, while a score between 25-50 indicates significant problems due to tinnitus with potential need for intervention.

    A decrease in TFI score indicates decreased bother due to tinnitus over time, a better outcome. An increase in TFI score indicates increased bother due to tinnitus over time, a worse outcome.



Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Global Bothersome Scale (GBS) Score [ Time Frame: Pre-intervention and 1 week post-intervention ]

    Change in participant-reported tinnitus bother after each intervention.

    Global Bothersome Scale (GBS) measured participant's self-assessment of tinnitus bother on a 5-point scale ranging from "Not bothered, 0" to "Extremely bothered, 5."

    A change of 0 indicates no change in tinnitus bother over time. A change of -1 indicates somewhat improved tinnitus bother, and a change of positive 1 indicates somewhat worsened tinnitus bother. A change of positive 2 indicates significantly worsened tinnitus bother.


  2. Patients' Global Impression of Change [ Time Frame: 1 week post-intervention ]
    Participant-reported perception of change in impact of tinnitus on quality of life since receiving each intervention



Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Adult men and women 18-65 years of age
  • Subjective, unilateral or bilateral, non-pulsatile tinnitus scoring "Bothered more than a little but not a lot", "Bothered a lot", or "Extremely bothered" on the Global Bothersome scale
  • Able to give informed consent
  • Must be able to read, write, and understand English

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Substance abuse or dependence (except for remote substance abuse or dependence with remission at least 1 year prior to the study and except for nicotine use disorders)
  • Acute medical illness that may pose subject at risk during nitrous oxide administration
  • Active psychotic symptoms
  • Patients with significant pulmonary disease and/or requiring supplemental oxygen
  • Contraindication against the use of nitrous oxide:
  • Pneumothorax
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Middle ear occlusion
  • Elevated intracranial pressure
  • Chronic cobalamin and/or folate deficiency treated with folic acid or vitamin B12
  • Pregnant patients
  • Breastfeeding women
  • Previous administration of NMDA-receptor antagonists (e.g., ketamine) within the last 3 months
  • Tinnitus related to cochlear implantation, retrocochlear lesion, Meniere's Disease, or other known anatomic lesions of the ear or temporal bone
  • Tinnitus related to a Workman's Compensation claim or litigation-related event that is still pending.
  • Any medical condition, which, in the opinion of the PI, confounds study results or places the subject at greater risk

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT03365011


Locations
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United States, Missouri
Washington University School of Medicine
Saint Louis, Missouri, United States, 63110
Sponsors and Collaborators
Washington University School of Medicine
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Jay F Piccirillo, MD Washington University School of Medicine
  Study Documents (Full-Text)

Documents provided by Washington University School of Medicine:

Publications:
Standards for Basic Anesthetic Monitoring. Committee of Origin: Standards and Practice Parameters (Approved by the ASA House of Delegates on October 21, 1986, last amended on October 20, 2010, and last affirmed on October 28, 2016) https://www.asahq.org/~/media/Sites/ASAHQ/Files/Public/Resources/standards-guidelines/standards-for-basic-anesthetic-monitoring.pdf

Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Washington University School of Medicine
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03365011     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 201606104
First Posted: December 7, 2017    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: November 6, 2018
Last Update Posted: December 14, 2018
Last Verified: November 2018
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

Keywords provided by Washington University School of Medicine:
Nitrous Oxide

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Tinnitus
Hearing Disorders
Ear Diseases
Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases
Sensation Disorders
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms
Nitrous Oxide
Anesthetics, Inhalation
Anesthetics, General
Anesthetics
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
Analgesics
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents