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Int J Audiol. 2003 Mar;42(2):82-8.

Neuro-otological findings in Pendred syndrome.

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Academic Unit of Audiological Medicine, Institute of Child Health, University College, London, UK.


Pendred syndrome is an autosomal recessive inherited disorder characterized by profound hearing impairment and inappropriate iodine release by the thyroid on perchlorate challenge. Thirty-three cases comprising members of 13 families and eight isolated cases were studied, with detailed audiological and vestibular investigation and computerized tomography. A uniform, profound, symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss was identified in all cases. Approximately one-third of the group reported progressive hearing impairment, in childhood or adolescence, associated with head injury, infection, or delayed secondary hydrops. Ninety per cent of the cases scanned showed dilated vestibular aqueducts, and all cases with progression of the hearing impairment demonstrated this structural abnormality. Approximately one-third of the cases had normal vestibular function, but a further third demonstrated a unilateral peripheral deficit, while the remaining third showed bilateral vestibular hypofunction. There was no intra-familial concordance of vestibular findings, and no correlation between vestibular abnormality and presence or absence of a dilated vestibular aqueduct, with or without a Mondini malformation. In older children and adults, Pendred syndrome was associated with a profound, symmetrical, sensorineural auditory impairment, and a variety of vestibular abnormalities, which are not uniform within families, or correlated with structural labyrinthine deformities.

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