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Minerva Pediatrics 2021 Jun 21

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5276.21.06314-X

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss in children with dual positivity of serum anti-EBV IgM and anti-CMV IgM antibodies: a preliminary study

Mirko ALDÈ 1, 2 , Federica DI BERARDINO 1, 2, Paola MARCHISIO 3, 4, Giovanna CANTARELLA 1, 5, Elisabetta IACONA 2, Umberto AMBROSETTI 1, 2, Diego ZANETTI 2

1 Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 2 Audiology Unit, Department of Specialist Surgical Sciences, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy; 3 Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 4 Pediatric Highly Intensive Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy; 5 Otolaryngology Unit, Department of Specialist Surgical Sciences, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy


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BACKGROUND: Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is rare in children, and its etiology remains largely unknown, although viral infections seem to play an important role. The aim of this study is to report 5 children who experienced permanent SSNHL and had dual positivity of serum anti-Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) IgM and anti-Cytomegalovirus (CMV) IgM antibodies.
METHODS: The study was conducted in a third-level referral audiological center. The medical charts of children under age 14 who experienced SSNHL without hearing recovery between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2020, were reviewed. These children had undergone diagnostic evaluations, including brain magnetic resonance imaging, serological testing, thrombophilia and autoimmunity screening, to find possible causes of SSNHL.
RESULTS: In all 5 patients identified, anti-EBV IgM, anti-CMV IgM and anti-CMV IgG antibodies were detected by chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA) immediately after the diagnosis of SSNHL, which occurred from 2 to 4 weeks after the onset of symptoms attributable to primary EBV infection.
No abnormalities were demonstrated by coagulation and immunologic tests. Brain magnetic resonance imaging showed normal findings.
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that primary EBV infection should be considered one of the most likely causes of SSNHL without any hearing recovery in children. Therefore, a routine audiological examination should be recommended for children with virologically confirmed primary EBV infection at approximately 3-4 weeks after onset of symptoms and then repeated with periodic follow-up. Further studies on a wider number of children affected by SSNHL might clarify the possible pathogenetic role of this dual serological positivity.


KEY WORDS: Sudden sensorineural hearing loss; Children; Epstein-Barr virus; Cytomegalovirus; Infectious mononucleosis

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