Objective: Although many studies have investigated sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) in adults, there were few studies on SSNHL in the pediatric population; especially research on treatment and prognosis of pediatric SSNHL was limited. The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical characteristics, treatment outcomes and prognostic factors in children and adolescents with SSNHL. Methods: A retrospective review of medical records of 67 pediatric patients (67 ears) who had diagnosed with SSNHL at our hospitals was performed to analyze patients’ clinical manifestations and audiograms. All patients were treated with high-dose systemic prednisolone (1 mg/kg), and 17 of them underwent intratympanic steroid injection therapy. Audiological evaluation was carried out before and after treatment, and hearing recovery was defined as complete recovery and partial recovery according to Siegel's criteria. Patients were divided into two groups: childhood group (ages between 4 and 12 years old) and adolescence group (age > 12 years), and clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes were investigated. In addition, patients were divided into two groups according to degree of hearing recovery, and evaluation was made regarding possible prognostic factors. Results: The recovery rate in total 67 patients was 55.2%. The recovery rate of the childhood group was significantly lower than that of the adolescence group (p = 0.038). While the presence of vertigo did not significantly correlate with prognosis (p = 0.219), the presence of tinnitus was significantly associated with hearing recovery (p = 0.005). Audiological assessment revealed that a low initial hearing threshold, high speech discrimination score, and descending type of audiogram were positively associated with hearing recovery (p = 0.002, p = 0.003, and p = 0.029, respectively). Conclusion: The childhood group had worse treatment outcomes than the adolescence group. High initial hearing threshold and absence of tinnitus were poor prognostic factors of hearing recovery. Active treatment is required for patients with these poor prognostic factors and childhood patients with SSNHL.
- Sudden sensorineural hearing loss