The etiological evaluation of sensorineural hearing loss in children

E. A. van Beeck Calkoen, M. S. D. Engel, J. M. van de Kamp, H. G. Yntema, S. T. Goverts, M. F. Mulder, P. Merkus, E. F. Hensen

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Abstract

This study aims to evaluate the etiology of pediatric sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). A total of 423 children with SNHL were evaluated, with the focus on the determination of causative genetic and acquired etiologies of uni- and bilateral SNHL in relation to age at diagnosis and severity of the hearing loss. We found that a stepwise diagnostic approach comprising of imaging, genetic, and/or pediatric evaluation identified a cause for SNHL in 67% of the children. The most common causative finding in children with bilateral SNHL was causative gene variants (26%), and in children with unilateral SNHL, a structural anomaly of the temporal bone (27%). The probability of finding an etiologic diagnosis is significantly higher in children under the age of 1 year and children with profound SNHL. Conclusions: With our stepwise diagnostic approach, we found a diagnostic yield of 67%. Bilateral SNHL often has a genetic cause, whereas in unilateral SNHL structural abnormalities of the labyrinth are the dominant etiologic factor. The diagnostic yield is associated with the age at detection and severity of hearing loss: the highest proportion of causative abnormalities is found in children with a young age at detection or a profound hearing loss. What is Known:• Congenital sensorineural hearing loss is one of the most common congenital disorders• Determination of the cause is important for adequate management and prognosis and may include radiology, serology, and DNA analysisWhat is New:• Using a stepwise diagnostic approach, causative abnormalities are found in 67% both in uni- and bilateral SNHL, with the highest diagnostic yield in very young children and those suffering from profound hearing loss• Bilateral SNHL often has a genetic cause, whereas in unilateral SNHL structural abnormalities of the labyrinth are the dominant etiologic factor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-1205
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Volume178
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

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