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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 111-116

Ototoxicity: Scope and pattern in a tertiary hospital in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Uju Matilda Ibekwe
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/phmj.phmj_16_18

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Background: Ototoxicity is a common cause of avoidable hearing loss in our environment. It is also an important factor of public health importance in developing countries. The aim of this study is to examine the pattern, note the prevalence and highlight the common medications implicated in ototoxicity in our environment. Methods: This study is a 6-year retrospective review of patients diagnosed with ototoxicity that were managed at the otorhinolaryngology clinic from January 2011 to December 2016. The patients' case files and the clinical registries were the source of data. The data extracted for analysis were demographics, type of medication used, route of administration, duration, otologic symptoms, time of presentation and pure-tone audiometric findings. Data were analysed using SPSS software version 20. Results: One hundred and thirty-six patients with ototoxicity were seen within the 6-year period, of which 71 had complete medical records and these were analysed. There were 37 males (52.1%) and 34 females (47.9%), giving a ratio of 1:1. The most common age group affected was 28–38 years. Unknown or unidentified medications (38%) were the most common cause of ototoxicity; among the known drugs, injection gentamicin (17%) and chloroquine (17%) were the most common implicated drugs, followed by quinine (12.7%). All the patients presented with hearing loss. Tinnitus was seen in 83.1%, whereas 22.5% had vertigo. Majority (56.3%) of the patients had severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. There were more bilateral (80.3%) than unilateral (19.7%) cases. Majority (63.3%) of the patients presented after 2 weeks of the onset of symptoms. Conclusion: Ototoxicity is still prevalent in our environment, with chloroquine and gentamicin being the most commonly implicated drugs. Most of the patients were found to have bilateral severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss.

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