Otological problems in children with Turner's syndrome

Hear Res. 1998 Oct;124(1-2):85-90. doi: 10.1016/s0378-5955(98)00113-0.


Ear and hearing disorders are common problems among girls and women with Turner's syndrome. During infancy and childhood the girls often suffer from repeated attacks of acute otitis media and later in life the women frequently complain of a rapid onset of social hearing problems due to sensorineural hearing impairment. A study of 56 girls aged 4-15 years with Turner's syndrome was performed to investigate the prevalence of eardrum pathology and hearing impairment in young children and teenagers with Turner's syndrome. A possible relation to karyotype was also investigated. A high prevalence (61%) of recurrent acute otitis media was found in the study group and 32% had been treated with ventilation tubes. Fifty-seven percent showed eardrum pathology, such as effusion, myringosclerosis, atrophic scars, retraction pockets and perforations. Auricular anomalies were noted in 23% of the cases, most commonly in the 45, X group. The audiometric analysis showed conductive hearing loss (air-bone gap > 10 dB HL) in 43% and the typical sensorineural dip in the middle frequencies was found in 58% of the girls, of whom the youngest was 6 years old. Four percent were using hearing aids. The data of this study further confirm that the dip is progressive over time and may be detectable as early as at the age of 6, giving a chance to predict a future hearing loss. The findings emphasize the importance of regular otological examinations and audiological evaluations of all girls with Turner's syndrome early in life.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Audiometry
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Congenital Abnormalities
  • Ear Diseases / etiology*
  • Ear, External / abnormalities
  • Female
  • Hearing Disorders / etiology*
  • Hearing Disorders / physiopathology
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive / etiology
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive / genetics
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / etiology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / genetics
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Otitis Media / etiology
  • Recurrence
  • Turner Syndrome / complications*
  • Turner Syndrome / genetics
  • Turner Syndrome / pathology
  • Turner Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Tympanic Membrane / pathology