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January 1979

Meningitis and Hearing Loss in Children

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Human Communication, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Drs Keane, Potsic, Rowe, and Konkle), the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Human Communication, Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia (Dr Keane), and the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia (Drs Keane, Potsic, Rowe, and Konkle).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1979;105(1):39-44. doi:10.1001/archotol.1979.00790130043010

• The hospital records for 100 cases of meningitis in which acute audiometric data had been obtained were reviewed. The incidence of sensorineural hearing loss was found to be 6%. The severity of hearing impairment varied from mild to profound and was frequently bilateral and irreversible. Two cases showed asymmetrical involvement, and in one case, there was subsequent improvement in threshold sensitivity. Factors that influenced the incidence of neurologic sequela included severity of the initial disease process, age of the patient, and duration of symptoms before diagnosis and treatment. We discuss the pathophysiologic mechanisms that may account for such hearing loss, and we emphasize the importance of early diagnosis and intensive antimicrobial therapy. Careful neurologic evaluation is required after recovery and must include periodic sequential audiometric testing.

(Arch Otolaryngol 105:39-44, 1979)

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