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Sudden sensorineural hearing loss and hemodialysis

| Reprints
December 1, 2006
by root

Olawale A. Lasisi, MBChB;
Babatunde L. Salako, MBBS;
Solomon Kadiri, MBBS;
Ayo Arije, MBBS;
Richard Oko-Jaja, MBBS;
Arinola Ipadeola, MBBS;
Fatai Olatoke, MBBS


The etiology of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) associated with renal failure and hemodialysis is controversial. Possible mechanisms include a shared antigenicity between the kidney and the labyrinths, osmotic alteration caused by hemodialysis, and the ototoxic effect of diuretics. We present 2 cases of SNHL associated with renal failure and its treatment. One patient was a 35-year-old man who developed profound SNHL after 5 sessions of hemodialysis, and the other was a 36-year-old woman who developed severe to profound SNHL after 7 sessions. It is our impression that both hearing losses might have been attributable to osmotic disequilibrium in the labyrinth or to an acute labyrinthine injury caused by contamination of the blood by the degraded product of an old cellulose acetate hemodialyzer membrane; the hemodialyzer had been in use for 15 years.

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