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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Radiation-induced hearing impairment in patients treated for malignant parotid tumor.

Radiation-induced hearing loss was evaluated in 21 patients with unilateral malignant parotid tumors treated with surgery and radiotherapy. The contralateral ear was used as a control. Eight patients (38%) were found to have a reduction in static compliance of the tympanic membrane (type B tympanogram) in the irradiated ear. By audiometry, significant hearing loss was found in 9 patients (43%). These hearing losses were mainly sensorineural, as shown by a similar reduction in both air and bone conduction, although mixed-type hearing loss existed in some patients. A statistically significant difference in incidence of 67% versus 0% (p = .0085) was noted for patients with a cochlear dose of greater than or equal to 60 Gy, in comparison to those receiving doses of less than 60 Gy. A type B tympanogram was also found to be a prognostic factor for significant sensorineural hearing loss. Patients with type B tympanograms had a much higher incidence of significant sensorineural hearing loss than those with type A tympanograms (88% versus 15%, p = .02). This study clearly shows that radiotherapy can induce significant hearing impairment, especially when the cochlear doses are higher than 60 Gy.[1]


  1. Radiation-induced hearing impairment in patients treated for malignant parotid tumor. Chen, W.C., Liao, C.T., Tsai, H.C., Yeh, J.Y., Wang, C.C., Tang, S.G., Hong, J.H. The Annals of otology, rhinology, and laryngology. (1999) [Pubmed]
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