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Keywords:

  • Sudden sensorineural hearing loss;
  • antiendothelial cell antibodies;
  • inner ear;
  • autoimmunity

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis The role of antiendothelial cell antibodies in systemic vasculitis has been reported. The aim of the study was to define the clinical associations of serum antiendothelial cell antibodies in patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

Study Design A prospective study in patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

Methods Serum samples were taken from 59 consecutive patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss at time of presentation and from 28 normal control subjects. Indirect immunofluorescence assay was used to detect antiendothelial cell antibodies.

Results The prevalence of antiendothelial cell antibody detection was 54% (32 of 59 patients), with a statistically significant difference between patients and control subjects (P = .0004). Antiendothelial cell antibody positivity was significantly associated with absent recovery of hearing loss (P = .0020).

Conclusions The cytotoxicity to endothelial cells of the inner ear by antiendothelial cell antibody–positive sera might play a role in causing the stria vascularis damage in immune-mediated sudden sensorineural deafness. The appearance of antiendothelial cell antibody is related to the poor outcome of hearing loss, and its detection could be helpful in the selection of particular patients with sensorineural hearing loss for specific immunosuppressive treatments.