PMID: 15851940Apr 27, 2005Paper

Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a review

Annales d'oto-laryngologie et de chirurgie cervico faciale : bulletin de la Société d'oto-laryngologie des hôpitaux de Paris
J-B Charrier, P Tran Ba Huy

Abstract

Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (ISSHL) remains one of the major unsolved otologic emergencies. It is characterized by the onset of an unilateral sensorineural hearing loss developing within 24 hours, and averaging on pure tone audiogram at least 30 dB HL for three subsequent octave steps, with no marked vestibular symptoms and no identifiable cause. ISSHL is a syndrome covering several heterogeneous entities resulting from different pathogenetic mechanisms. At this time, the audiogram is the unique tool which may help clinicians to identify these entities and provide a classification based on 5 types of hearing loss. Numerous experimental and clinical studies have investigated the mechanisms by which infectious, ischemic, mechanic or immunologic insults may induce cochlear dysfunction. However, extrapolation to humans and rationale therapeutic approaches to ISSHL remain uncertain. SSHL being a diagnosis of exclusion, retrocochlear and neurologic etiologies should be eliminated. No argument allows to consider ISSHL a therapeutic emergency. More precisely, the experimental data presently available on cochlear physiology suggests that a treatment could have some chance to be effective if undertaken within minutes fol...Continue Reading

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