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Sudden sensorineural hearing loss in human monocytic ehrlichiosis

| Reprints
August 24, 2017
by Vidur Bhalla, MD; Brian Rodgers, MD; James Lin, MD

Abstract

The hallmarks of symptomatic human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) include fever, headache, myalgia, nausea, malaise, transaminitis, and blood cell abnormalities. Previous case reports have described isolated cranial nerve palsies in infected patients but not hearing loss. We describe the onset of sudden sensorineural hearing loss in 2 patients with HME-a 31-year-old woman and an 82-year-old woman. The older patient experienced objective and subjective improvement in her hearing after treatment with an antibiotic and steroid taper; the younger patient was lost to audiologic follow-up. Additionally, we discuss the possible mechanisms of the hearing loss in these patients.

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