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      Auditory Brainstem Responses in Thyroid Diseases before and after Therapy

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          The aim of this study was to evaluate through the auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) the electrical events generated along the auditory pathway in 56 adult patients affected with hyper- and hypothyroidism. Twenty-four normal-hearing hyperthyroid patients affected with Graves’ disease and 32 normal-hearing hypothyroid patients (9 with subclinical and 23 with overt hypothyroidism) were subjected to standard (clicks at 21 pps) and sensitized ABR with masking wide-band (masking noise). In addition, thyroid scintiscan and ultrasonography, free T<sub>3</sub> and T<sub>4</sub>, total T<sub>3</sub> and T<sub>4</sub>, TSH, antimicrosomal and antithyroglobulin antibodies, audiogram and impedance tests were performed in all the patients. This study was repeated after 6-12 months of treatment in conditions of euthyroidism. The results showed changes of ABRs both in the standard procedure as well as in the sensitized test in 6 hyperthyroid (25%) and 8 hypothyroid patients (25%). All the patients with abnormal ABRs had overt hypothyroidism (8/23; 34,7%). The ABRs became normal in 5 out of 6 Graves’ patients after 6-12 months of methimazole treatment. ABRs remained abnormal in all the hypothyroid patients despite their having been on L-thyroxine treatment for 6-12 months and were euthyroid for at least 5 months before the study was repeated. These findings suggest that ABR abnormalities are indicative only of a nonspecific injury in the bulbo-ponto-mesencephalic centers. Alterations of ABRs in thyroid diseases are not specific in relation to hyper- or hypothyroidism. Lastly, there is a relationship between ABR abnormalities and the degree of hypothyroidism, even if ABR alterations are not always reversible after long-term therapy.

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          Author and article information

          Horm Res Paediatr
          Hormone Research in Paediatrics
          S. Karger AG
          05 December 2008
          : 43
          : 5
          : 200-205
          aDepartment of Medical-Surgical Endocrinology and dChair of Otorhinolaryngology, University ‘Federico IF School of Medicine; bDivision of Neurosurgery and cUnit of lmmunological and Endocrinological Oncology, Division of Oncology, Cardarelli Hospital-USL 40, Naples, Italy
          184278 Horm Res 1995;43:200–205
          © 1995 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Page count
          Pages: 6
          Original Paper


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