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Correlation between sensorineural hearing loss and chronic otorrhea

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November 3, 2017
by Fernanda Martinho Dobrianskyj, MS; Isis Rocha Dias Goncalves, DO; Yumi Tamaoki, DO; Edson Ibrahim Mitre, MD; Fernando A. Quintanilha Ribeiro, PhD


Many studies have attempted to correlate chronic otorrhea in children and in adults with the sensorineural hearing loss in the affected ear, with contradictory results. This loss might be the result of the likely toxicity of the bacteria involved, effects of inflammatory cytokines, or constant use of ototoxic antibiotics. All studies evaluated to date compared the affected ear with the normal contralateral ear. From the digitized archive of otologic surgery files of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at Santa Casa de São Paulo School of Medical Sciences, the ears of patients with chronic otorrhea were evaluated visually and compared with the normal contralateral ears. Ears with otorrhea were also compared with ears of other patients with dry tympanic perforation. Ears with suppuration were evaluated for cholesteatoma. The duration of otorrhea was considered. The sensorineural hearing threshold was evaluated for the frequencies of 500, 1,000, 2,000, and 4,000 Hz. A total of 98 patients with chronic otorrhea and 60 with dry tympanic membrane perforation were evaluated. A correlation between sensorineural hearing loss and chronic otorrhea was observed when compared with both contralateral normal ears and dry perforated ears of other patients. No relationship between hearing loss and the duration of suppuration or cholesteatoma was found. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs in ears with chronic otorrhea. The duration of otorrhea and the etiology of suppuration did not influence the hearing loss.

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