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Prognostic factors in hearing recovery following sudden unilateral deafness

Prognostic factors in hearing recovery following sudden unilateral deafness

Hno 51(4): 305-309

A perilymph fistula is a possible cause for sudden unilateral sensory deafness. In this retrospective study the data of 73 patients with unilateral sudden deafness were analyzed. All of them underwent an exploratory tympanotomy during which both windows were packed with soft tissue. Postoperatively all patients received rheological therapy with pentoxifyllin and steroids. The following possible prognostic indicators were analyzed: age, sex, tinnitus, vertigo, vomiting, spontaneous nystagmus, positive fistula test, time between onset of symptoms and therapy, intraoperative proof of a perilymph fistula, and signs of barotrauma in the patient's history. A significant postoperative recovery of the hearing loss (>20%) was found in 29 patients (39.7%) (group 1), and 44 patients (60.3%) showed only an increase of <20% (group 2). The statistical analyses showed the following significant difference: The symptoms vertigo (p=0.002) and spontaneous nystagmus (p=0.014) occurred more frequently in group 2 (patients with a poor hearing recovery) than in group 1. Patients with a barotrauma,however, had an overproportionally good outcome (50-100% hearing recovery). A perilymph fistula was seen intraoperatively equally often in both groups. In summary, the symptoms vertigo and spontaneous nystagmus are indicators of complex damage in cases of sudden deafness and are associated with a worse prognosis concerning hearing recovery. Exploratory tympanotomy in combination with drug treatment is a reasonable therapy as an ultima ratio in every case of unilateral sudden deafness.

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Accession: 050036170

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 12682732

DOI: 10.1007/s00106-002-0705-x

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