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Revista Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia

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PERSON, Osmar Clayton; NARDI, José Carlos  and  FERES, Maria Cristina Lancia Cury. The relationship between hypozincemia and tinnitus. Rev. Bras. Otorrinolaringol. [online]. 2004, vol.70, n.3, pp.361-367. ISSN 0034-7299.

Zinc is an oligoelement involved in several organic reactions and it has been recognized as an essential component in the synthesis of proteins and as a probable factor in the stabilization of cell membranes. In the cochlea it is considered to be the principal protective component against reactive oxygen species, and it also acts as a synaptic modulator in some glutamatergic systems. Its participation in synapses in the auditory system and in the treatment of tinnitus has been largely studied in the past few years. AIM: The objective of the present study was to investigate the serum zinc levels in patients with tinnitus, before and after the treatment with drugs containing zinc, and to compare them with a control group. STUDY DESIGN: Clinical prospective. PATIENTS AND METHOD: We evaluated 41 patients (22 with tinnitus and 19 control) that were split into two groups (I and II), respectively. Both groups were submitted to audiologic evaluation, metabolic and biochemical exams, including determination of the serum zinc levels in order to attend the criterion of approval or not. The patients were treated with drugs containing zinc for 90 days, and after that they were submitted to exams to determinate the serum zinc levels again. RESULTS: In terms of serum zinc levels, the relationship between the group with tinnitus and the control group was not statistically significant, but the treatment significantly increased the serum zinc levels in the group with tinnitus, making it closer to the control group. 45,5% of the patients treated with zinc presented a reduction in their tinnitus. CONCLUSION: Patients with tinnitus and normal population did not present different serum zinc levels in this study.

Keywords : tinnitus; zinc; hypozincemia.

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