Sudden sensorineural hearing loss in children and adolescents



Researchers from the Seoul National University Hospital and Medical Center recently published an article with novel findings on sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) in the pediatric population.

Studies on SSNHL are relatively common in adults, but studies on this disorder in young people are rare. Research on the treatment and prognosis of pediatric SSNHL is particularly limited, which prompted the authors to look into this area more closely.

The team carried out a retrospective review of medical records concerning 67 pediatric patients (67 ears) who had been diagnosed with SSNHL at their hospitals in order to analyze clinical features and patient audiograms. The researchers divided the patients into two groups: a childhood group (4 to 12 years old) and an adolescence group (age over 12 years), and examined the clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes.

According to the study’s results, published in early September in the journal Auris Nasus Larynx, all reviewed patients were treated with high-dose systemic prednisolone (1 mg/kg), and 17 of them underwent intratympanic steroid injection therapy. The recovery rate in the 67 patients was 55.2%. Interestingly, the recovery rate in the childhood group was significantly lower than that in the adolescence group, with significance of p=0.038.

Other findings showed, from the audiological assessment, that a low initial hearing threshold, high speech discrimination score, and descending type of audiogram were positively associated with hearing recovery. The absence of tinnitus was, however, a poor prognostic factor for hearing recovery.

Source: Auris Nasus Larynx. 2017 Sep 6.