PURPOSE: Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) has similarities to conditions with vascular etiologies such as myocardial infarction and cerebral stroke. Thus, it could be considered as an early sign of a vascular disease and not only a specific local condition. Chronic hypoperfusion in the brain districts leads to a chronic ischemic damage, called cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD), detectable with brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
METHODS: The authors used CSVD to establish the presence of vascular risk factors in individuals with SSNHL and used the Fazekas score scale to classify them.
RESULTS: Our study showed that individuals with SSNHL aged between 48 and 60 years have 26% more probability to have a Fazekas score higher than 1 compared to the general population. Individuals younger than 28 years showed a statistically significant negative correlation to have a Fazekas score higher than 0. The higher is the Fazekas score, the less is the probability of hearing recovery. The medium hearing-recovery probability is 46%. This decreases by 16% for every increase of score in the Fazekas scale. In the present study, the recovery probability decreased from 80% in individuals younger than 48 years with a score of 0 to 14% in individuals with a Fazekas scores of 3 and 4.
CONCLUSIONS: The authors assessed a higher prevalence of CSVD compared to the general population in patients aged between 48 and 60 years with SSNHL. Moreover, they assessed that the presence of CSVD is related to a decreased probability of recovery, as it has already been demonstrated for stroke.
- Age Factors
- Brain/diagnostic imaging
- Case-Control Studies
- Cerebral Small Vessel Diseases/complications
- Cochlear Diseases/etiology
- Hearing Loss, Sensorineural/etiology
- Hearing Loss, Sudden/etiology
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Middle Aged
- Retrospective Studies
- Risk Factors
- Severity of Illness Index
- White Matter/diagnostic imaging
- Young Adult