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Freund Publishing House, Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology, 0(0), 2021

DOI: 10.1515/jbcpp-2020-0354



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The impact of vestibular symptoms and electronystagmography results on recovery from sudden sensorineural hearing loss

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Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher

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Abstract Objectives Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) represents a frequently encountered otological entity, of various types and severity, with an array of associated symptoms including vertigo. This is a devastating life-changing condition with a blurry prognosis. The objective of this study was to determine the clinical association of vestibular impairment by electronystagmography (ENG) and caloric tests, and their ability to predict prognosis. Methods An observational, crossectional study was carried out amongst patients admitted with SSNHL. Each consenting patient had an audiometry test performed on admission as well as ENG and caloric tests. Treatment included oral steroids and carbogen with intratympanic steroids used only as salvage treatment. Follow-up was completed after 6 months when hearing gains were evaluated. Finally, an association was sought between the rate of recovery and ENG and caloric test results. Results Of 35 patients included, marked recovery was seen in patients without vertigo when compared to those with vertigo (p=0.003). A statistically significant association was found between the presence of vertigo and hearing deterioration (p=0.008). More so, normal electronystagmography results were associated with marked recovery (p=0.04). Conclusions The vestibular end organs are both subjectively and objectively affected in SSNHL as demonstrated by the abnormal ENG and caloric tests in our study despite the small sample size. Concomitant vestibular involvement carries poorer prognosis and routine identification may help foresee the recovery of patients with SSNHL and as such, aid in patient counseling. ENG and caloric tests are easily available and may be recommended for all patients with SSNHL.