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Int J Otolaryngol. 2012;2012:216592. doi: 10.1155/2012/216592. Epub 2012 Nov 6.

Acute-phase inflammatory response in idiopathic sudden deafness: pathogenic implications.

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UGC Otorhinolaryngology, Virgen del Rocio University Hospital, C/Manuel Siurot s/n, 41013 Seville, Spain.


The acute-phase inflammatory response in the peripheral bloodstream can be an expression of transient cerebral ischaemia in idiopathic sudden deafness. For this, a neurological and otorhinolaryngological examination of each patient, performing tests on audiometry, and tympanometry, haemogram, and cranial magnetic resonance were performed. The acute-phase inflammatory response manifests as an increased neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio that is detected 48-72 hours after the appearance of sudden deafness. This study shows that there is an acute-phase response in the peripheral bloodstream with an increased neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio as an expression of an inflammatory process that can be caused by transient cerebral ischaemia in sudden deafness. In addition, the increased neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio can rule out a viral origin of sudden deafness, since a viral infection lowers the neutrophil count and increases the lymphocyte count, thus reducing the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio. These findings aid in understanding the pathogenic mechanisms involved in sudden deafness and offer better treatment to the patient.

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