Objectives: To address the prevalence of audiovestibular disorders in patients with primary Raynaud's Phenomenon (RP). A series of patients with primary RP and secondary RP in the context of systemic sclerosis (SSc) were compared with healthy controls.
Methods: A prospective multicenter observational cross-sectional study was conducted in several Otolaryngology and Rheumatology Divisions of tertiary referral hospitals, recruiting 57 patients with RP and 57 age- and gender-matched controls. Twenty patients were classified as primary RP when unrelated to any other conditions and 37 patients who met the 2013 ACR/EULAR classification criteria for SSc were classified as having secondary RP associated with SSc. Audiometric and vestibular testing (vHIT), clinical sensory integration and balance testing (CTSIB), and Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP) were performed.
Results: As significant differences were found in the age of the two study groups, primary and secondary RP, no comparisons were made between both groups of RP but only with their control groups. No sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) was recorded in any of our patients with primary RP and no differences were found in the voice audiometry tests with respect to controls. Four of 37 (10.8%) secondary RP patients presented SNHL. Those with SNHL were 7.03 times more likely to have a secondary RP than controls (p < 0.001). The audiometric curve revealed high-frequency hearing loss in 4 patients with RP secondary to SSc, and statistically significant differences were achieved when RP secondary was compared to controls in vHIT gain, caloric test, CTSIB, and CDP.
Conclusions: Unlike patients with RP secondary to SSc, patients with primary RP do not show audiovestibular abnormalities. Regarding audiovestibular manifestations, primary RP can be considered a different condition than secondary RP.
Keywords: Raynaud phenomenon; audiovestibular; balance disorder; systemic sclerosis.