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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1995 Oct;10(10):1865-8.

Hearing loss in short- and long-term haemodialysed patients.

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Division of Nephrology and Dialysis, San Carlo Borromeo Hospital, Milan, Italy.



Hearing loss has been described in patients with chronic renal failure on regular dialysis treatment (RDT) with very different frequency, ranging from 20 to 75%; RDT does not seem to worsen hearing function for at least the first 5 years of treatment; no studies are available on patients on RDT for more than 10 years.


We performed an audiometric evaluation in 91 patients on RDT for various periods: group I (34 patients), < 5 years; group II (32 patients), 5-10 years; group III (25 patients), > 10 years; patients with histories of chronic otitis, ototoxic drug treatment, and chronic auditory trauma were excluded; the possible correlations with some biochemical parameters (urea, creatinine, PTH) were also looked for.


Hearing loss was present in 77% of patients and 69.2% of ears; the percentage of patients with hypoacusia was higher in group III (84%) than in group I (76.3%) and II (71.7%), but the differences were not statistically significant. Hypoacusia was cochlear neurosensory in 61.5%, conductive in 6.5%, and mixed in 9.0% of patients; the percentage of patients with cochlear neurosensory hypoacousia was similar in the three groups (I, 61.7%; II, 59.3%; III, 64%). Hearing loss was of slight to moderate degree and not different in the three groups (I, 22.7 +/- 15 dB; II, 26.9 +/- 6.0 dB; III, 29.1 +/- 8.9 dB). There were no correlations between hearing loss and plasma creatinine and PTH values; patients with plasma urea > 200 mg/dl had higher percentage of hypoacousia (86%) than patients with plasma urea < 200 mg/dl (69%) (P = 0.06).


Hearing loss, mainly cochlear neurosensory in type, is present in a high percentage of patients on RDT even at the beginning of treatment, but no negative effects on hearing can be correlated with the duration of dialysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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