Extended high-frequency audiometry for ototoxicity monitoring (Stevenson et al., 2022)
Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe extended high-frequency (EHF) pure-tone audiometry monitoring of ototoxicity in a longitudinal treatment program for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DRTB).
Method: This was a retrospective record review of longitudinal conventional (0.25–8 kHz) and EHF (9–16 kHz) audiometry for ototoxicity monitoring of DRTB patients undergoing treatment at community-based clinics between 2013 and 2017. Data from 69 patients with an average age of 37.9 years (SD = 11.2, range: 16.0–63.8 years) were included. Patients were assessed by primary health care audiologists (87%) or community health workers (13%) using portable audiological equipment. The average length of time between initial and exit assessments was 84.6 days (SD = 74.2, range: 2–335 days).
Results: EHF ototoxicity of a mild or greater degree of hearing loss (> 25 dB HL in one or both ears across frequencies) was evident in 85.5% of patients’ posttreatment, compared with 47.8% of patients across conventional frequencies. EHF audiometry demonstrated an ototoxic shift (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association criteria) in 56.5% of cases compared with 31.9% when only conventional audiometry was considered. Mean hearing deterioration for patients was significant across EHFs (9–16 kHz) bilaterally (p < .05). Absent EHF thresholds at the initial assessment, owing to maximum output limits, was a limitation that occurred most frequently at 16 kHz (17.4%, 24/138).
Conclusions: EHF audiometry is most sensitive for the early detection of ototoxicity and should be included in monitoring programs. Clinical ototoxicity monitoring protocols should consider shortened assessment approaches that target frequencies most sensitive to ototoxicity, including EHFs.
Supplemental Material S1. Mean hearing thresholds for initial and exit assessment with hearing deterioration across ears (N = 69).
Stevenson, L. J., Biagio-de Jager, L., Graham, M. A., & Swanepoel, D. W. (2022). Extended high-frequency audiometry for ototoxicity monitoring: A longitudinal evaluation of drug-resistant tuberculosis treatment. American Journal of Audiology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_AJA-22-00039