Sensorineural hearing loss in GSD type I patients. A newly recognized symptomatic association of potential clinical significance and unclear pathomechanism

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2021 Dec:151:110970. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2021.110970. Epub 2021 Nov 10.


Objective: Glycogen storage disease (GSD) type I is an inborn error of carbohydrates metabolism characterized by inability to convert glucose-6-phosphate to glucose. It presents with serious liver and metabolic complications, as well as in type Ib with severe infections due to neutropenia. So far, the sensorineural hearing impairment has not been reported in these patients. Bilateral, sensorineural hearing impairment was diagnosed in four unrelated GSDI patients. Congenital origin of hearing loss and descending audiometric curves warranted the need for future investigations.

Methods: Hearing status was assessed in entire group of 40 children with GSD type I. Then, molecular testing, massive parallel sequencing was performed in the four probands and their parents in order to find possible genetic background of auditory dysfunction in these patients.

Results: Pathogenic variants in G6PC and SLC37A4 related to the phenotypes of GSDI subtype Ia and subtype Ib were detected, each in two probands, respectively. No change in the genes involved in auditory pathway dysfunction was found.

Conclusions: Sensorineural hearing loss appears to be associated with GSDI in approximately one out of ten cases. Careful assessment and monitoring of auditory functions of patients with GSDI is recommended.

Keywords: Descending audiogram; G6PC; GSDIa; GSDIb; Hearing loss; SLC37A4.

MeSH terms

  • Antiporters / genetics
  • Child
  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type I* / complications
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural* / complications
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural* / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Phenotype


  • Antiporters
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • SLC37A4 protein, human