The ototoxic effect of boric acid solutions applied into the middle ear of guinea pigs

Ozturkcan S., Dundar R., Katilmis H., Ilknur A. E., Aktas S., Haciomeroglu S.

EUROPEAN ARCHIVES OF OTO-RHINO-LARYNGOLOGY, vol.266, no.5, pp.663-667, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 266 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00405-008-0806-6
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.663-667
  • Keywords: Boric acid, Ototoxicity, Inner ear, ABR
  • Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University Affiliated: Yes


This study analyzed the ototoxic effects of boric acid solutions. Boric acid solutions have been used as otologic preparations for many years. Boric acid is commonly found in solutions prepared with alcohol or distilled water but can also be found in a powder form. These preparations are used for both their antiseptic and acidic qualities in external and middle ear infections. We investigated the ototoxic effect of boric acid solutions on guinea pigs. We are unaware of any similar, previously published study of this subject in English. The study was conducted on 28 young albino guinea pigs. Prior to application of the boric acid solution under general anesthesia, an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABRs) test was applied to the right ear of the guinea pigs. Following the test, a perforation was created on the tympanic membrane of the right ear of each guinea pig and small gelfoam pieces were inserted into the perforated area. Test solutions were administered to the middle ear for 10 days by means of a transcanal route. Fifteen days after inserting the gelfoams in all of the guinea pigs, we anasthesized the guinea pigs and removed the gelfoams from the perforated region of the ear and then performed an ABRs on each guinea pig. The ABRs were within the normal range before the applications. After the application, no significant changes were detected in the ABRs thresholds in neither the saline group nor the group administered boric acid and distilled water solution; however, significant changes were detected in the ABRs thresholds of the Gentamicine and boric acid and alcohol solution groups. We believe that a 4% boric acid solution prepared with distilled water can be a more reliable preparation than a 4% boric acid solution prepared with alcohol.