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Auditory function and quality of life in patients receiving cisplatin chemotherapy in head and neck cancer: A case series follow-up study


1 Department of Pharmacology, Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College, Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research, Kolar, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College, Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research, Kolar, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Medical Oncology, Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College, Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research, Kolar, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
N Sarala,
Department of Pharmacology, Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research, Tamaka, Kolar, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Background: Cisplatin is one of the anticancer drugs used for head and neck cancers. Although some studies have shown that cisplatin can cause ototoxicity, periodic audiometric assessments have not been extensively studied in the Indian rural population. Hence, this study has been undertaken to evaluate the effects of cisplatin on hearing. Materials and Methods: Fifty-nine patients with squamous cell carcinomas of head and neck, who received cisplatin chemotherapy, were recruited. Serum creatinine, blood urea, serum proteins, and audiometry were assessed before and after the first, second, and third chemotherapy cycle. The cochleotoxic effect of cisplatin was assessed by pure tone audiometry. Hearing loss was graded accordingly. All patients were administered a quality of life questionnaire at baseline and at the end of the third cycle. Results: Hearing loss was observed in 12 patients at speech frequencies and those at higher frequencies were 12 (4000 Hz), 18 (6000 Hz), and 28 (8000 Hz). The hearing loss was symmetrical, sensorineural, and showed a strong correlation with the low serum albumin levels at the end of the third cycle. Dizziness was seen in eight patients, at the end of the study. The commonly observed adverse effects were nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, and tinnitus. Conclusion: The studies have shown hearing loss in higher frequencies, but in our study, we have observed hearing loss at speech frequency in 22.2% of patients receiving cisplatin, who also had low serum albumin levels. Periodic audiometric monitoring and serum albumin level may be helpful to provide timely intervention to prevent further hearing loss and deterioration in the quality of life.


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    -  Kalyanam B
    -  Sarala N
    -  Azeem Mohiyuddin S M
    -  Diwakar R
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