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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 237-243

Study of the effect of combined interferon and ribavirin therapy on the hearing profile of hepatitis C virus patients


1 Department of Audiovestibular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
2 Department of Tropical Medine, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Samir Asal
Department of Audiovestibular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1012-5574.168359

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Objectives This study aimed to study the effect of combined pegylated interferon and ribavirin (Peg-IFN/RBV) therapy on the hearing profile of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Materials and methods The auditory system of a total of 74 chronic HCV patients was assessed using pure tone audiometry (conventional and high frequency) and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs in the form of a DP-gram) immediately before therapy and at the end of the 12th and 24th weeks. Vestibulocochlear adverse effects including hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, and otalgia were also considered. Results Significant elevations in hearing thresholds were found on comparing thresholds at the 12th and 24th weeks with those at the onset of the study. The elevations were mostly at higher frequencies (3000, 4000, 6000, 8000, 9000, 10 000, 11 200, and 12 500 Hz), and did not affect speech perception. For DPOAE, significant differences were observed at all F2 frequencies on comparing both amplitudes and signal to noise ratios at the 12th and 24th weeks with those before therapy, with significance appearing earlier for higher F2 frequencies. Otologic complaints were insignificant, except for tinnitus; a significant increase in tinnitus was observed from 0 to 31.1% by the end of the study. Conclusion Significant auditory adverse effects may result from combined Peg-IFN/RBV therapy in HCV patients, highlighting the importance of prompt monitoring of auditory functions in these patients.


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