Conventional audiometric screening for detection of drug induced hearing loss in thalassemics: a pilot study

Vikram Bharadwaj, Manish Munjal, Parth Chopra, Shubham Munjal, Sivjot Binepal, Hemant Chopra, Praveen Sobti


Background: Drug induced hearing impairment is likely in subjects undergoing multiple blood transfusions which necessitates timely detection and rehabilitation, especially in the pediatric age group.

Methods: A total 30 thalassemic patients undergoing regular iron chelation therapy with Desferrioxamine and Deferasirox were included in this prospective study. Follow up studies were conducted after 12 months of chelation therapy i.e. after 1 year thus spanning a total duration of 1 years.

Results: The most common age group was 4-8 years (46%) followed by 8-12 years (20%). Male patients outnumbered female patients in the ratio of 2.75:1 constituting 73% of study population oral Deferasirox (80%) followed Desferrioxamine (13.3%) and a combination therapy (6.6%). The distribution shows shift of pure tone average in higher thresholds with continuation of therapy.

Conclusion: Despite Desferrioxamine doses usually felt to be low risk for ototoxicity (less than 40 mg/kg/day), found a high rate of ototoxicity in our patients using pure tone audiometry (23%).


Blood transfusion, Hearing impairment, Pure tone audiometry, Thalassemia

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