Thyroid hormone is necessary for normal development of the auditory system. The aim of this study was to investigate the rate of hearing impairment in congenitally hypothyroid (CH) patients, and its relation with factors such as CH severity and age at starting treatment, during CH screening program in Isfahan.
Hearing acuity was assessed in two groups of children with (94 patients aged 4 months – 3 years) and without CH (450), between 2000-2006. Otoacostic emission (OAE) was performed by a two step method. After two tests without OAE signals bilaterally, they were referred for auditory brainstem response (ABR) test. Subjects with both OAE and ABR abnormal test results were considered to have hearing problem. Obtained data was compared in case and control group and also CH patients with and without hearing impairment.
Three (3.2%) of patients and 1 of control group (0.2%) were diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss. The rate of hearing loss was not different significantly in two studied groups (P>0.05). There was no difference between age of starting treatment and first T4 and TSH level in CH patients with and without hearing loss (P>0.05). CH neonates with hearing impairment had thyroid dyshormonogenesis according to the follow up results.
The rate of hearing loss was low among our studied CH patients. It may be due to proper management of CH patients. In view of the fact that all CH neonates were dyshormonogentic and considering the relation between certain gene mutations and hearing impairment in CH patients, further studies with larger sample size, with regard to different etiologies of CH should be investigated to indicate the possible gene mutations related to hearing loss in CH.