Send to

Choose Destination
Neurology. 2013 Oct 15;81(16):1374-7. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182a84140. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

Clinical and genetic features of hearing loss in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.

Author information

From the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine (K.L.L.), Department of Pediatrics (L.H., C.S., K.D.M.), Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (L.H.), College of Public Health (S.A.K.), and Department of Neurology (K.D.M.), University of Iowa, Iowa City.



To describe the hearing loss in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and examine the relationship to genotype.


Medical records of all individuals with FSHD seen at the University of Iowa neuromuscular clinic between July 2006 and July 2012 (n = 59) were reviewed. Eleven had significant hearing loss and no non-FSHD cause. All available audiology records for these individuals were analyzed. The relationship between the FSHD mutation (EcoRI/BlnI fragment size) and hearing loss was evaluated using a logistic regression analysis.


In patients with hearing loss, recalled age at onset of facial weakness ranged from birth to 5 years and shoulder weakness was 3 to 15 years. The age at diagnosis of hearing loss ranged from birth to 7 years. Only 2 were identified by newborn hearing screen. Most audiograms demonstrated a bilateral, sloping, high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss. Of the 4 patients with more than 5 years of data, 3 had progression of hearing loss. Logistic regression showed statistically significant negative association between the presence of hearing loss and EcoRI/BlnI fragment size (p = 0.0207).


FSHD with a small EcoRI/BlnI fragment is associated with a bilateral, progressive, sloping, high-frequency hearing loss with onset in childhood. Patients with FSHD and small EcoRI/BlnI fragment sizes should have hearing screened, even if the child passed newborn hearing screening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center