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Otorinolaringologia 2019 March;69(1):9-14

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-6621.18.02203-8

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss: risk factors and comorbidities

Giancarlo PECORARI, Giuseppe RIVA , Nertila NAQE, Matteo NARDO, Gabriele BRUNO, Roberto ALBERA

Otorhinolaryngology Division, Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy



BACKGROUND: Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) has complex etiology and prognosis. Only in a small percentage of cases it is possible to identify the etiology. Recovery depends on several factors. Recurrence rate varies from 0.8% to 40%. The aims of this retrospective observational study were the followings: 1) to investigate the presence of risk factors that can predict the prognosis; 2) to assess the circadian progression of the onset; 3) to evaluate the development of other diseases during the follow-up.
METHODS: Seventy-three patients were evaluated. Patients underwent a treatment consisting of intravenous corticosteroids. Clinical and audiometric features were recorded. A specific focus was set on comorbidities and on vascular and autoimmune diseases developed during follow-up.
RESULTS: Most of patients had a flat hearing loss at audiogram. Hearing loss was mainly mild. Onset of SSHL was generally upon awakening. Complete recovery occurred in 29% of cases, partial recovery in 34%, and no recovery in 37%. Audiogram morphology and time before treatment were statistically related to recovery. Regarding follow-up, 4 subjects (5.1%) developed an acute vascular pathology, while 6 subjects (7.7%) developed an autoimmune disorder.
CONCLUSIONS: Upward-sloping audiograms and an early treatment are good prognostic factors. No clinical parameter may be helpful to predict the extent of the damage. Some factors appear to be in favor of a vascular etiology, while others seem to refute it. Establishing a relationship between an etiological factor and the development of SSNHL remains very difficult.


KEY WORDS: Hearing loss, sensorineural - Audiometry, pure-tone - Risk factors - Vascular diseases - Autoimmune diseases

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