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October 1969

Hearing Improvement Following Meningitis Deafness

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otorhinology, Neuro-Sensory Division, Temple University Health Science Center, Philadelphia.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;90(4):470-473. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770030472011

HEARING loss as a complication of meningococcal meningitis is a well-known clinical entity. It is most commonly bilateral, severe, and permanent.1 Vestibular function is also lost in many cases.2

Improvement in hearing follow a loss secondary to meningococcal meningitis is rare. Maspetiol et al3 reported two cases of improvement of 20 db over a six-month period and one case in which improvement was "even greater." No audiograms were furnished. The authors state that the hearing losses were cochlear in nature. The cochlear loss was diagnosed by an indirect determination of recruitment. The determined hearing thresholds and then the level of uncomfortable loudness using psycho-galvanic skin reaction testing. When hearing thresholds and level of uncomfortable loudness were closely related the conclusion was reached that a cochlear lesion was present. The patients were all children.

Classification of Various Patterns of Hearing Loss.—Trolle4 classified 49 cases of

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