A retrospective study of the clinical characteristics and post-treatment hearing outcome in idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss

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Purushothaman Ganesan | puruaudio@gmail.com
Purushothaman Pavanjur Kothandaraman
Simham Swapna
Vinaya Manchaiah


The purpose of this retrospective study was to analyze the clinical characteristics and document hearing recovery in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL). 122 patients diagnosed with unilateral ISSNHL, from March 2009 to December 2014, were treated with oral steroids and pentoxifylline. Hearing change was evaluated by comparing pre-treatment and post-treatment pure-tone average (PTA) (500, 1K, and 2K Hz), and categorized into complete, partial, and no recovery of hearing. T-test, Wilcoxon Signed Rank test and Regression analysis were employed to analyze the statistical significance. Of the 122 patients, seventy-one (58%) had complete recovery and 34 (28%) had partial recovery. The average pre-treatment PTA was 78.3 ± 16.9 dB whereas post-treatment average was 47.0 ± 20.8 dB, showing statistically significant improvement (t=24.89, P≤0.001). The factors such as presence of tinnitus (P=0.005) and initial milder hearing loss (P=0.005) were found to be significant predictors for hearing recovery. Conventional steroid regimes produced a recovery rate in ISSNHL, which exceeds the spontaneous recovery rate. The current study results highlight the importance of medical treatment in the management of ISSNHL.

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