Introduction: Cardiomyopathy may cause disruptions in the micro-vascular system of the stria vascularis in the cochlea, and, subsequently, may result in cochlear degeneration. Degeneration in the stria vascularis affects the physical and chemical processes in the organ of Corti, thereby causing a possible hearing impairment. The objective of this study was to assess the hearing profiles of patients with dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathies to determine the relationship between the degree of hearing loss and the degree and duration of the disease and to compare the dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathies as regards hearing profile.

Methods: In this case control study, we studied 21 patients (cases/study group/group 1) and 15 healthy individuals (controls/group 2). Six patients (group 1a) had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and 15 patients (group 1b) had dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The data were analyzed using the t-test, chi-squared test, Kruskal-Wallis test, and the Multiple Mann-Whitney test.

Results: The results of this study showed that 80% of those patients with DCM (group 1b) had bilateral sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), and 100% of the patients with HCM (group 1a) had mild to severe bilateral sloping SNHL. Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions (DPOAEs) were present in 14% of the study group and in 100 % of the control group. The results of the measurements of auditory brainstem response (ABR) showed that 50% of the study group had abnormal latencies compared to the control group, and there was no correlation between the duration of the disease and the degree of hearing loss or DPOAE. Fifty percent of the patients with HCM and 35% of the patients with DCM had positive family histories of similar conditions, and 35% of those with HCM had a positive family history of sudden death. 

Conclusion: The results of this study suggested that the link between heart disease and hearing loss and early identification of hearing loss in patients with cardiomyopathy may reduce morbidity since hearing deficits sometimes precede heart disease.


Keywords: cardiomyopathy, hearing profile, dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
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