Autosomal Dominant Non-Syndromic Hearing Loss (DFNA): A Comprehensive Narrative Review

Biomedicines. 2023 Jun 1;11(6):1616. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines11061616.


Autosomal dominant non-syndromic hearing loss (HL) typically occurs when only one dominant allele within the disease gene is sufficient to express the phenotype. Therefore, most patients diagnosed with autosomal dominant non-syndromic HL have a hearing-impaired parent, although de novo mutations should be considered in all cases of negative family history. To date, more than 50 genes and 80 loci have been identified for autosomal dominant non-syndromic HL. DFNA22 (MYO6 gene), DFNA8/12 (TECTA gene), DFNA20/26 (ACTG1 gene), DFNA6/14/38 (WFS1 gene), DFNA15 (POU4F3 gene), DFNA2A (KCNQ4 gene), and DFNA10 (EYA4 gene) are some of the most common forms of autosomal dominant non-syndromic HL. The characteristics of autosomal dominant non-syndromic HL are heterogenous. However, in most cases, HL tends to be bilateral, post-lingual in onset (childhood to early adulthood), high-frequency (sloping audiometric configuration), progressive, and variable in severity (mild to profound degree). DFNA1 (DIAPH1 gene) and DFNA6/14/38 (WFS1 gene) are the most common forms of autosomal dominant non-syndromic HL affecting low frequencies, while DFNA16 (unknown gene) is characterized by fluctuating HL. A long audiological follow-up is of paramount importance to identify hearing threshold deteriorations early and ensure prompt treatment with hearing aids or cochlear implants.

Keywords: autosomal dominant inheritance; genes; genetic hearing loss; loci; non-syndromic hearing loss.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.