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Ear Nose Throat J. 2017 Feb;96(2):59-64.

Analysis of caloric test responses in sudden hearing loss.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, #325, Section 2, Cheng-Kung Rd., Taipei 114, Taiwan.


Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is characterized by a rapid-onset hearing loss that develops within 3 days. Vertigo may also be present. We conducted a retrospective study to investigate whether the severity of a loss of caloric function is associated with the initial hearing loss and with hearing recovery. Our study population was made up of 135 patients-67 men and 68 women, aged 25 to 71 years (mean: 50.9)-with sudden sensorineural hearing loss who had undergone bithermal caloric testing. We compared various patient factors according to patients' hearing level and their response to caloric testing. We also analyzed the canal paresis (CP) value in patients with an abnormal caloric response according to three factors: disease severity, vertigo, and hearing recovery, and we evaluated the correlation between the loss of caloric function and hearing outcomes. We found that an abnormal caloric response was significantly associated with a profound hearing loss at presentation, the presence of vertigo, and poor hearing recovery. Among patients with an abnormal caloric response, the CP value was significantly correlated with hearing recovery (r = 0.503, p = 0.001). Poor hearing recovery was seen in 80% of patients with a CP value of ≥40% but in only 25% of patients with a value of <40%; in addition, the degree of hearing recovery was worse in the patients with a CP value of ≥40% (p = 0.002). We conclude that a CP value of ≥40% is a significant prognostic factor for an unfavorable treatment outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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