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Invited Commentary
June 2018

Extending the Ear-Kidney Association to Presbycusis

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018;144(6):475-476. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.0275

Understanding the causes of presbycusis is a major goal of health research because it is such a common human condition. The ear-kidney association has been known at least since the early 20th century, when the Alport and branchio-oto-renal syndromes were described. It was also noted that the cochlea and kidney share the presence of pericytes and podocytes in the glomeruli and inner ear, indicating similarities in microcirculation. The ear and kidney have in common some forms of organ-specific toxic effects (eg, due to treatment with aminoglycosides or cisplatin), and both organs are actively engaged in ion transport functions to maintain homeostasis.1 On the other hand, there has been little evidence that the ear-kidney association might be important in presbycusis.