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July 1975

Anesthesia of the Ear by Iontophoresis of Lidocaine

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1975;101(7):418-421. doi:10.1001/archotol.1975.00780360018004

Anesthesia of the tympanic membrane and ear canal by the use of iontophoresis of local anesthetics is a painless and safe method of anesthesia for office myringotomy and polyethylene tube insertion, and possibly for surgical use as well.

With the use of guinea pig models, the introduction of 4% lidocaine hydrochloride solution in the middle ear space with iontophoresis revealed no toxic effects on the eighth nerve, and epinephrine hydrochloride potentiates the effects of lidocaine and has no protective mechanism on the eighth nerve function.