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Hearing Impairment in Pre-eclampsia

Introduction: Pre-eclampsia is marked by increase in blood pressure and a raised level of protein in the urine and women will often also have swelling in the feet, legs, and hands. This condition usually appears during the second half of pregnancy; the pathological changes that happen during pre-eclampsia will be consequence of vasoconstriction of blood vessels, endothelial malfunction and ischemia. Hypertension and hemo-vascular disorder that accompany the disease can influence any organ including inner ear. The aim of the present study is to study the effect of pre-eclampsia on the inner ear by using Distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAEs).

Patients and Methods: Our study is a prospective one that done at Otorhinolaryngology, Obstetric and Audiology clinics at Minia University Hospital, from March 2011 to December 2012. It composed of patient's group that suffer from pre-eclampsia with mean age 25.3 years old and control group representing healthy pregnant women with mean age 25.4 years old. The entire study sample was subjected to audiological evaluation (Distortion product otoacoustic emission, Immitancemetry, Stapedial reflex and pure tone audiometry). Systemic and Obstetric evaluation was done to both groups.

Results: Immitancemetry, stapedial reflex and pure tone audiometry were normal in both groups, while Distortion product otoacoustic emission was statistically significant lower amplitudes in nearly one third of the patient's groups at all F2 frequencies except at 6250 Hz, while none of the ears of the control group had abnormal DPOAEs.

Conclusion: Pre-eclampsia can influence cochlear function and be a risk factor for sensory neural hearing loss in affected women.

Author(s): Mohammed A Gomaa, Mohhammed M Elbadery, Hisham M Samy, Rash A Abdel Moniem and Hala A Ali