Saccular damage in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss without vertigo

Seok Min Hong, Jae Yong Byun, Chan Hum Park, Jun Ho Lee, Moon Suh Park, Chang Il Cha
Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery 2008, 139 (4): 541-5

OBJECTIVE: Saccule could be damaged in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) with vertigo and with high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss. Thus, the saccule might be deteriorated subclinically in ISSHL cases without vertigo. Therefore, we investigated saccular damage in ISSHL patients without vertigo through vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP).

STUDY DESIGN: A prospective study.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Fifty-two patients with ISSHL without vertigo were enrolled in the study. We identified VEMP in patients with ISSHL and analyzed the association of VEMP with initial hearing threshold, each threshold according to frequency, the type of audiogram, and hearing recovery.

RESULTS: For cases with absent VEMP, we found significant differences between patients with 90 dB or more hearing loss and those with a hearing loss less than 55 dB with frequencies over 1000 Hz. Patients with profound hearing loss presented significantly high abnormal and absent VEMP than patients with audiograms of other types.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that the subclinical deterioration of the saccular neuroepithelium is associated with patients with ISSHL having profound hearing loss at the high frequency.

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