Background: Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and vestibular dysfunction have been
described in various autoimmune disorders and systemic vasculitides. A high prevalence of SNHL
is reported to occur in established rheumatologic diseases; however, immunologic and rheumatologic
disorders make up a small proportion of patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss
Objectives: This prospective study was carried out in order to determine the prevalence of rheumatologic
and immunologic disorders in patients with SSNHL in Northeast Iran.
Methods: Patients with a diagnosis of SSNHL referred to our University Hospital were enrolled in
this prospective study conducted over a period of 3 years. Immunology-rheumatology evaluations
were performed in all patients, including detailed history, physical exams and laboratory tests such
as erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), antinuclear antibody (ANA), rheumatoid factor (RF), anti
neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (PR3, c-ANCA), perinuclear anti neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody
(p-ANCA), antiphospholipid antibody, anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (ACCP), and complement
proteins C3 and C4.
Results: Eighty-three patients with a mean age of 42.04±16.94 years were admitted into the study.
The female-to-male ratio was 47% to 53%. ANA was positive in one patient, RF in six, p-ANCA in
two, ACCP in one, and antiphospholipid antibody was positive in three patients with low titers. No
diagnosis of rheumatologic diseases was detected, except for one patient who was diagnosed with
primary Sjögren's syndrome. Fewer than 5% all cases had specific positive immunologic tests.
Conclusion: The low frequency of immunology-rheumatology positive tests and disorders in our
patients with SSNHL indicates that it is not reasonable to routinely perform all related tests for every
patient. Instead, clinical evaluations should be used to decide whether or not to conduct these tests.