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Otorinolaringologia 2005 June;55(2):81-9


language: Italian

Idiopathic sudden hearing loss: 15 year case-review

Rizzo S., Strinati F., Bizzotti C., Longari F., Bracchi E., Frenguelli A.

Clinica Otorinolaringoiatrica Dipartimento delle Specialità Medico-Chirurgiche Università degli Studi di Perugia Azienda Ospedaliera “S. Maria”, Terni


Aim. The Authors present a retrospective case study of 170 subjects with idiopathic sudden hearing loss, who have been observed during the course of 15 years. The results were compared with those available in the literature.
Methods. The Authors considered some epidemiological data like age, sex, period of onset and associated sympthoms (tinnitus, vertigo). All patients were treated with the same pharmacological therapy based on steroids, hypertonic perfusion, heparyn and vasodilatators. The presence and entity of any recover in hearing was evaluated within 2 months. This recovery was classified like: complete, good, light, absent, in relationship to audiogram dB gain. The evaluation of obtained results, was based on 3 main parameters: 1) time between sympthomatology onset and therapy starting; 2) age of insorgence (over or under 50 year) and 3) audiogram morphology.
Results. The best results were obtained in early treated patients (within 10 days); the relationship between age and recovery degree in not clear, with slightly best results in subjects under 50 year old. From the morphological point of view the forms with the best evolution appear to be those with a flat or rising morphology. The forms with descending morphology probably do not present a favorable evolution although these with a threshold around 8000 Hz are worse than those with a threshold of 4000 Hz.
Conclusion. In conclusion, the essential characteristics of sudden deafness are as yet poorly defined. There are a lot of variables affecting the onset and evolution of hearing loss that it proves impossible to perform any valid analysis wich incude them all. Probably the audiogram morphology, the entity of the initial hearing loss and the time of pharmacological treament are the most important elements able to provide some degree of prognostic prediction.

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