Prevention of Acoustic Trauma-Induced Hearing Loss by N-acetylcysteine Administration in Rabbits


1 Occupational Health Department, Health Faculty, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran

2 Trauma Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran


Acoustic trauma is an injury to the hearing mechanisms in the inner ear due to excessive noise. This injury is the most prevalent cause of sensorineural hearing loss in humans, especially from occupational exposure. Previous studies have shown the essential role of free radical formation in the inner ear hearing loss caused by acoustic trauma.

This study was performed to determine the effect of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) administration for reducing acute acoustic trauma in rabbits.

Materials and Methods
Twenty four rabbits were assigned to four groups including: control, noise plus saline, noise plus NAC administration (325 mg/kg body weight by intraperitoneal injection (IP), three days before exposure to noise and three days after noise exposure), and NAC alone. Auditory brain stem response (ABR) threshold was measured before exposure and one hour and 14 days after exposure.

The saline plus noise group had on average a 49 decibel (dB) temporary threshold shift (TTS) and 23.9 dB permanent threshold shift (PTS) at the studied frequencies, while rabbits in the NAC administration plus noise group had a 31.5 dB TTS and 10.7 dB PTS averaged across the frequencies.

Administration of NAC can provide appropriate protection against acoustic trauma-induced hearing loss in rabbits at all studied frequencies.