Effects of interferon-alpha2b on hearing

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical Faculty, Firat University, Elaziğ, Turkey.
International Journal of Audiology (Impact Factor: 1.84). 09/2004; 43(8):438-41.
Source: PubMed


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of interferon-alpha2b treatment on hearing in patients with chronic active hepatitis B. Twenty-six patients with chronic active hepatitis B were enrolled in the study, and pure-tone audiometry was performed to determine hearing thresholds of the patients before and at the end of 6 months of interferon-alpha2b treatment. There was no significant change in hearing thresholds of patients after treatment with interferon-alpha2b (p>0.05). The results of the present study indicate that interferon-alpha2b therapy does not have any negative effect on hearing thresholds of patients with chronic active hepatitis B. There is a need for further studies involving larger numbers of patients to allow conclusions to be drawn regarding the safety of this therapy with respect to hearing.

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    • "In our prospective study, we have demonstrated that HCV patients receiving PEG-IFN\RBV treatment did not experience any significant hearing loss (sensorineural, conductive or both) using sensitive and objective measures before, during, and after therapy. Two recently published studies performed in patients with hepatitis B have come to differing conclusions, Kaygusuz et al.[32] did not find any negative effects of IFN in hepatitis B patients, while Gorur et al. demonstrated significant hearing loss in their cohort.[33] "
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    ABSTRACT: Some reports in the literature have linked interferon therapy for the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV) with hearing loss. The aim of this study has been to examine the effects of interferon therapy on hearing of patients treated for HCV. Patients were recruited according to preset inclusion criteria from two centers. All patients received standard dose pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN a-2b or a-2a) plus ribavirin (RBV). All patients had pure-tone audiometry (PTA), tympanogram and distortion-product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) before treatment, three months after initiation of treatment, and three months after completion of treatment. Twenty one patients were prospectively recruited. The mean age was 45.7 years. The male to female ratio was 1.1:1. The mean PTA was 15.9 ± 5.3 before treatment, 17.4 ± 6.1 during treatment and 16.5 ± 5.1 after treatment. The differences between pre and mid, pre and post, as well as mid and post were not significantly different (P>0.05) in all audiological assessments. Our results indicate that PEG-IFN\RBV therapy does not have any impact on the hearing thresholds of patients with HCV.
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the effects of pegylated interferon monotherapy and pegylated interferon+lamivudine combination therapy on auditory functions in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection. A total of 54 patients with a diagnosis of CHB were grouped into four treatment groups: patients in Group 1 received pegylated interferon-alpha 2a; patients in Group 2 received pegylated interferon-alpha 2a+lamivudine; patients in Group 3 received pegylated interferon-alpha 2b, and patients in Group 4 received pegylated interferon-alpha 2b+lamivudine treatment. The auditory system (using standard and high frequency audiometry) and the vestibulocochlear adverse effects including otalgia, tinnitus, vertigo and imbalance were assessed immediately before the onset of the study, and at the 12th, 24th, and 48th weeks of the study. A mean elevation of auditory threshold of 1-10dB was found in all treatment groups when the thresholds at the onset of the study and the thresholds at the 12th, 24th, and 48th weeks were compared. However, the elevations were not significant. The elevations were mostly at high frequencies (10,000, 12,000 and 16,000Hz). The most common vestibulocochlear adverse effects related to treatment were tinnitus, vertigo, imbalance, and otalgia, respectively. Tinnitus was the most common adverse effect in Group 2, vertigo was the most common in Group 3, imbalance was at equal frequency in Group 2 and 3, and otalgia was the most common adverse effect in Group 2 (p>0.05). There were no significant auditory adverse effects in the treatment groups. We think that it may be beneficial to monitor the auditory functions in patients receiving PEG-IFN treatment because of the mild elevation in the auditory thresholds (although not significant).
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