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J Laryngol Otol. 2003 Mar;117(3):212-4.

Autoimmune sensorineural hearing loss: is it still a clinical diagnosis?

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Department of Otolaryngology, Warrington Hospital, Warrington, UK.


Inner ear involvement with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) has been reported in many autoimmune disorders including ulcerative colitis. The pathogenetic mechanism of hearing loss in ulcerative colitis is thought to be immune mediated. Diagnostic tests are being developed to identify inner ear autoantibodies, that may be the cause of such hearing loss. The only test that is currently available for clinical use is the Otoblot test. This, however, tests only for antibodies against bovine heat shock protein 70 which is only one of the many cross-reacting proteins against the inner ear in suspected immune-mediated hearing loss. The clinical response to steroid therapy is thus the mainstay in the diagnosis of immune-mediated hearing loss. This paper presents a series of patients with clinically suspected autoimmune hearing loss. Diagnostic assays for this condition are discussed along with a review of the recent advances in the pathogenesis and laboratory diagnosis of immune-mediated sensorineural hearing loss.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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