Otitis media with effusion and hearing loss in children with Cornelia de Lange syndrome

Paola Marchisio, Angelo Selicorni, Lorenzo Pignataro, Donatella Milani, Elena Baggi, Lara Lambertini, Elisa Dusi, Laura Villa, Pasquale Capaccio, Marta Cerutti, Susanna Esposito, Nicola Principi
American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part A 2008 February 15, 146A (4): 426-32
The development of children who have syndromes with mental retardation and/or language delay can be worsened by sensorineural or conductive hearing loss (HL). Given the existing scarcity of data, we investigated the prevalence of otitis media with effusion and/or HL in 50 children with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) aged 1-18 years, and its impact on the children's performance. The children underwent otological and audiological examinations in order to ascertain the relative frequencies of otitis media with effusion and/or hearing impairment; their demographic and clinical data were obtained by questionnaires and from information in their medical charts. Otitis media with effusion was diagnosed in 94%, and its prevalence was similar in all age groups; HL was detected in 40 children (80%). Conductive HL due to middle ear effusion was the main cause of hearing impairment alone (60%) or in combination with sensorineural deficit (20%). HL had a negative impact on performance regardless of the type. A history of routine audiological and/or otological assessments was reported by a minority of parents. Our findings indicate that otitis media with effusion and/or HL is an important feature of children with CdLS and may negatively affect their performance. Careful follow-up throughout childhood is necessary to detect and treat any hearing loss in children with CdLS in order to minimize its impact on performance.

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