Persistent bilateral hearing loss after shunt placement for hydrocephalus

Case report

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✓ Transient hearing decrease following loss of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been reported in patients undergoing lumbar puncture, spinal anesthesia, myelography, and/or different neurosurgical interventions. The authors present the first well-documented case of a patient with persistent bilateral low-frequency sensorineural hearing loss after shunt placement for hydrocephalus and discuss the possible pathophysiological mechanisms including the role of the cochlear aqueduct. These findings challenge the opinion that hearing decreases after loss of CSF are always transient. The authors provide a suggestion for treatment.

Article Information

Address reprint requests to: Sandro J. Stoeckli, M.D., Clinic of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital Zürich, Frauenklinikstrasse 24, CH-8091 Zürich, Switzerland. email: stoeckli@orl.usz.ch.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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    Schematic showing pure tone hearing thresholds at 4 days (▪-▪) and at 1 year (▴-▴) after shunt placement related to the gender- and age-matched 10th and 90th percentiles8 (---). Only thresholds of the right ear are shown; thresholds of the left ear were almost identical in both instances.

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