Unbalanced oxidative status in idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2012 Feb;269(2):449-53. doi: 10.1007/s00405-011-1671-2. Epub 2011 Jun 26.


An impaired cochlear perfusion seems to be an important etiopathogenetic event in idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL). Recently, oxidative stress has been proposed as risk factors of microvascular damage. This observational study aimed to evaluate the possible role of oxidative stress in ISSNHL. In thirty-nine ISSNHL patients and seventy healthy subjects serum reactive oxygen species concentrations (ROS) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) were measured by spectrophotometric methods on F.R.E.E. analyzer (Diacron International, Italy). Moreover, a global oxidative stress index (Oxidative-INDEX), reflecting both oxidative and antioxidant counterparts, was also calculated. 25/39 patients showed oxidative stress due to ROS levels significantly higher than controls (348.2 ± 84.8 vs. 306.75 ± 46.7 UCarr; p = 0.001). The Oxidative-INDEX was significantly higher in patients than in controls (0.75 ± 2.4 vs. -0.0007 ± 1.28 AU, p = 0.03). As oxidative stress is a key determinant in endothelial dysfunction, our findings could suggest vascular impairment involvement in ISSNHL etiopathogenesis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology
  • Cochlea / blood supply
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microcirculation / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / blood
  • Risk Factors


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species