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July 23, 1982

Aminoglycoside Ototoxicity

Author Affiliations

Jefferson Medical College Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia


edited by Stephen A. Lerner, Gregory J. Matz, and Joseph E. Hawkins, Jr (conference, Chicago, September 1979), 449 pp, with illus, $32.50, Boston, Little Brown & Co, 1982.

JAMA. 1982;248(4):477. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330040065041

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Ever since Hinshaw and Feldman first reported the successful use of Waksman's new antibiotic streptomycin in 1945, aminoglycoside ototoxicity has been the subject of serious concern and investigation. Today, aminoglycosides remain invaluable, life-saving weapons in the fight against infectious disease. However, the problem of their toxicity to the cochlea and vestibular labyrinth still hampers their effective use. Because their toxic-therapeutic ratios are low, physicians sometimes refrain from using the drugs even when they are indicated, and many use them in overcautious and ineffectively low doses. Physicians may inadvertently use aminoglycosides in excessively high doses in patients at increased risk of toxic reaction (such as those with renal impairment).

To elucidate the problem and stimulate research, the International Conference of Aminoglycoside Ototoxicity was held in Chicago from Sept 26 to 28, 1979. Proceedings of that conference form the essence of this book. The authors of the individual chapters are internationally acclaimed