Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1996 Sep 1;36(2):281-9.

Sensorineural hearing loss in patients treated for nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a prospective study of the effect of radiation and cisplatin treatment.

Author information

Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.



The pattern of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) after primary treatment for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) was studied, and the effect of cisplatin, radiotherapy does, and fractionation were evaluated.


One hundred thirty-two patients, 227 ears, and 1100 audiogram reports were analyzed. Radiotherapy dose ranged from 59.5 to 76.5 Gy. Fifty-two patients received preirradiation cisplatin, total dose 100-185 mg/m(2). Serial postirradiation bone conduction thresholds at 0.5 kHz, 1 kHz, 2 kHz, and 4 kHz were compared with pretreatment thresholds at respective frequencies. Increase of at least 15 dB was considered as significant and was further grouped as transient or persistent SNHL. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify predicting factors for persistent SNHL.


At median follow-up of 30 months, 24.2% of ears developed persistent SNHL. High frequency was more affected than low frequencies, 22 vs. 5.3%. Males were more affected than females, 29.4 vs. 15.5%, p = 0.0132. Incidence of persistent SNHL increased with age, with 0, 17.2, and 37.4% of patients aged under 30, between 30-50 and over 50 affected, respectively, p = 0.0001. High incidence was found in patient with postirradiation serous otitis media (SOM), 46.9%. Chemotherapy with cisplatin and radiation dose or fractionation had no significant effect. Multivariate analysis confirmed age, sex, and postirradiation SOM as significant prognostic factors for persistent SNHL.


Transient and persistent SNHL occurred after radiotherapy, more commonly affecting high frequency. A low dose of preirradiation cisplatin did not increase the risk. A dose fractionation effect of radiotherapy was not confirmed in this study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center