Sensorineural Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Characteristics in Patients With Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension

Timothy Shim, Yeshwant Chillakuru, Paola Moncada, Sunny Kim, Parisa Sabetrasekh, Andrew Sparks, Collin F. Mulcahy, Ashkan Monfared

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To characterize patterns of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and tinnitus in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective chart review. SETTING: Tertiary referral center. PATIENTS: Adult patients diagnosed with IIH via lumbar puncture (LP) between 2010 and 2020 who had available audiograms. The study included a total of 40 patients; 33 women, and 7 men with a median age of 43. INTERVENTIONS: Diagnostic LP and audiogram. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Otologic symptoms, ophthalmologic signs, hearing thresholds, cerebrospinal fluid opening pressures. RESULTS: The most commonly reported symptoms were tinnitus in 28 (70%, 23 pulsatile and 5 tonal), aural fullness in 11 (28%), and vertigo in 10 (25%). Twenty-nine patients had ophthalmologic examinations and 18 had evidence of papilledema. Twenty-five (63%) patients had hearing loss in at least one ear at one frequency range. Patients presented with both unilateral and bilateral hearing loss across low, middle, and high frequency ranges. No significant association was observed between hearing loss threshold and LP opening pressure except for 250 Hz in the left ear. After stratification by tinnitus group (pulsatile, tonal, and no tinnitus), no significant difference was found between mean hearing loss threshold at different frequencies. In addition, no significant mean age difference was identified in patients within each tinnitus group. CONCLUSIONS: There was no classic pattern or presentation for hearing loss in our IIH patients. They developed sudden, unilateral, or bilateral SNHL in low, middle, or high frequency range. The degree of hearing loss did not correlate with CSF opening pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1323-1328
Number of pages6
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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