Journal Article
Systematic Review
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Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss in Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

OBJECTIVE: Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL) is uncommon in children, and its treatment and outcome are debated. We aimed to critically review evidence in the literature about treatment options and functional outcomes of pediatric ISSNHL. Additionally, we performed a meta-analysis of the results of combined systemic-intratympanic steroid therapy versus solely systemic treatment.

DATA SOURCES: A search was run in the PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases.

REVIEW METHODS: Included articles were original ISSNHL case series, written in English, with a population age ranging from 2 to 19 years. Other study types (single case reports, editorials, and reviews) and case series with known etiology of sudden hearing loss were excluded. Descriptive data of patients, treatments, outcomes, and possible prognostic factors were extracted and recorded for every included study.

RESULTS: Twelve articles (7 cohort and 5 case-control studies) met all the selection criteria. Based on only the studies that provided sufficient data about clinical outcome, the pooled overall recovery rate was 67.91% (95% CI, 58.34%-77.48%). No studies showed a significant difference between systemic steroid and combined systemic-intratympanic steroid. The pooled odds ratio for combined systemic-intratympanic steroid versus systemic steroid alone was 0.90 (95% CI, 0.36-2.27) based on a random effects model, ruling out any significant difference between these treatment options.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of our meta-analysis did not support combination therapy more than systemic steroid alone. Further prospective clinical trials are necessary to establish evidence-based therapies.

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