The goal of this study was to determine the efficacy of a detailed questionnaire, auditory brain stem response testing (ABR), MRI, and an extensive battery of serologic tests in diagnosing asymmetric sensorineural hearing loss (ASNHL).
METHODS AND MATERIAL:
Patients with audiograms demonstrating ASNHL of 10 dB or greater in 2 consecutive frequencies or 15 dB in any 1 frequency between 250 and 6000 Hz were asked to participate. Patients underwent MRI scanning of the cerebellopontine angle, internal auditory canals, and posterior fossa with gadolinium contrast, ABR, and an extensive battery of tests. The causative diagnosis was made by the individual clinician based on each patient’s history, physical examination, and test results.
Forty-five patients completed the study. A review of the data confirmed the utility of a detailed history and physical examination, MRI, and fluorescent treponemal antibody test in all cases. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, glycosylated hemoglobin,
Lyme antibody titers, and total hemolytic component (CH50) were helpful in selected cases. Thyroid function testing, complete blood count, Sequential Multiple Analysis-7, prothrombin time/partial thromboplastin time, lipid profile, and ABR were of no value in these patients.
A careful history and physical examination, MRI, and fluorescent treponemal antibody test should be performed for the evaluation of all patients with ASNHL; however, more extensive serologic testing, including sedimentation rate, glycosylated hemoglobin,
Lyme antibody titers, and CH50, should be selectively performed, based on a suggestive history or suspicious physical findings.