Hearing loss in Takayasu's arteritis: a role for hyperbaric oxygen therapy?


In the scientific community, there is growing interest regarding associated symptoms in Takayasu’s arteritis (TA), an autoimmune condition that mainly affects the medium and large arteries. Hearing loss (HL) is a rare complication of TA that is often overlooked and has severe consequences on the quality of life. HL mainly presents as sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) and responds to corticosteroid therapy. In the authors’ opinion, the reasons for misdiagnosing HL in patients with TA are lack of evidence re- garding this rare complication and because TA involves large caliber arteries, instead of small vessels that are typical of the inner ear. We recently used HBOT for a 36-year-old woman with TA, who had two SSNHL episodes in different ears in an 11-month period and observed a significant improvement in the patient's hearing. Although this was a single case finding and HBOT was administered together with steroid therapy, the significant recovery of HL in both ears following this therapeutic approach may be worth sharing with the scientific community. In conclusion, we recommend that awareness for inner ear involvement in TA should increase and that HL should be considered a possible complication of TA and should be treated with corticosteroid therapy and, after collecting further evidence, HBOT

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