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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Aug;78(8):1216-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2014.05.026. Epub 2014 Jun 2.

Kawasaki disease is associated with sensorineural hearing loss: a systematic review.

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  • 1Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Electronic address:
  • 2Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Electronic address:



Kawasaki Disease (KD), a systemic vasculitis of unknown etiology, has been associated with the development of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). KD is primarily a disease of young children, who are the most susceptible to complications from even minimal hearing loss. If there is a connection between KD and the development of SNHL, a better understanding of this relationship may improve our management of this disease and its complications.


To perform a systematic review according to a standardized guideline to evaluate the possible association between KD and SNHL.


Medline and PubMed online databases were reviewed for appropriate articles.


All studies available in English discussing KD and SNHL were included.


Studies were assessed primarily for the incidence of SNHL. Where possible, they were assessed for the degree and laterality of the loss, length of follow up and change in hearing over time.


8 studies meeting the criteria were assessed. 3 were case reports, 1 was a case series and the remaining 4 were prospective control trials. 8 patients have been reported as cases, and 240 assessed in PCT. 36% of patients assessed had some degree of SNHL, and overall 14% had evidence of persistent SNHL at follow up.


This systematic review would suggest there is an association between KD and SNHL. It is important for physicians caring for patients with KD to be aware of this complication and consider screening these patients given possible complications of hearing loss in this age group.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Hearing loss; Kawasaki disease; Sensorineural hearing loss; Systematic review

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