Purpose: The objective is to describe progressive changes in hearing and cochlear function in children and adolescents treated with platinum-based chemotherapy and to begin preliminary evaluation of the feasibility of extended high-frequency audiometry and distortion product otoacoustic emissions for ototoxicity monitoring in children.
Patients and methods: Baseline and serial measurement of conventional pure-tone audiometry (0.5 to 8 kHz) and evoked distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) were conducted for 32 patients age 8 months to 20 years who were treated with cisplatin and/or carboplatin chemotherapy. Seventeen children also had baseline and serial measurement of extended high-frequency (EHF) audiometry (9 to 16 kHz). Audiologic data were analyzed to determine the incidence of ototoxicity using the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association criteria, and the relationships between the different measures of ototoxicity.
Results: Of the 32 children, 20 (62.5%) acquired bilateral ototoxicity in the conventional frequency range during chemotherapy treatment, and 26 (81.3%) had bilateral decreases in DPOAE amplitudes and dynamic range. Of the 17 children with EHF audiometry results, 16 (94.1%) had bilateral ototoxicity in the EHF range. Pilot data suggest that EHF thresholds and DPOAEs show ototoxic changes before hearing loss is detected by conventional audiometry.
Conclusion: EHF audiometry and DPOAEs have the potential to reveal earlier changes in auditory function than conventional frequency audiometry during platinum chemotherapy in children.