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The treatment of drug-resistant (DR)-tuberculosis (TB) necessitates the use of second-line injectable anti-TB drugs which are associated with hearing loss. Hearing loss affects communication and the development of language and social skills in children. This review describes the pathophysiology of hearing loss and the testing methodologies that can be employed. It is the first paper to systematically review the literature regarding hearing loss in those treated for DR-TB. In the studies identified, the methodology used to test for and to classify hearing loss is inconsistent and children and those with HIV are poorly represented. This review describes existing guidelines and suggests management strategies when hearing loss is found. It describes the challenges of testing hearing in the developing world contexts where the majority of patients with DR-TB are treated. Finally it makes the recommendation that a standardised testing methodology and classification system should be used.


James A Seddon, Peter Godfrey-Faussett, Kayleen Jacobs, Adam Ebrahim, Anneke C Hesseling, H Simon Schaaf. Hearing loss in patients on treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis. The European respiratory journal. 2012 Nov;40(5):1277-86

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PMID: 22700838

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