Resolution of bilateral sensorineural hearing loss following ventriculoperitoneal shunt and literature review

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2017 Sep;100:141-144. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2017.06.034. Epub 2017 Jul 1.


Objective: The purpose of this study is to highlight the relationship between obstructive hydrocephalus, changes in intracranial pressure, and sensorineural hearing loss.

Methods: A case of a 10-month old infant with sensorineural hearing loss secondary to obstructive hydrocephalus is reported. A literature review, with a focus on sensorineural hearing loss in the setting of changes in intracranial pressure, was performed.

Results: The authors report the case of a 10-month old infant with metopic and bicoronal craniosynostosis who presented with bilateral moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss after failing newborn hearing screening. Imaging subsequently demonstrated obstructive hydrocephalus, which was treated with the insertion of a VP shunt. The patient had immediate improvement of her hearing post-operatively, with repeat hearing tests showed resolution of her hearing loss.

Conclusion: Sensorineural hearing loss is a rare complication of hydrocephalus, but changes in intracranial pressure should be considered in the differential diagnosis. We put forth a flow diagram illustrating the hypothesized relationship between intracranial pressures, alterations in the levels of cochlear fluid, and hearing.

Keywords: Hearing loss; Pediatric otolaryngology; Ventriculoperitoneal shunt.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cochlea / physiopathology
  • Craniosynostoses / complications
  • Craniosynostoses / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Bilateral / etiology
  • Hearing Loss, Bilateral / surgery*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / etiology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / surgery*
  • Hearing Tests
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / complications
  • Hydrocephalus / surgery*
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Prostheses and Implants / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt / methods*