Cochlear function in patients with chronic kidney disease.

S. M. Govender*, C. D. Govender, G. Matthews

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate cochlear functioning in patients (18-45 years old) with varying stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Using purposive sampling, 50 participants, 10 in each of the 5 stages of CKD, were selected and underwent pure tone audiometric testing and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs). Significant differences (p < 0.05) were found between pure tone audiometry and DPOAEs in detecting early cochlear dysfunction in the high-frequency range in stages 3 (6,000/5,000 Hz; p = 0.00), 4 (6,000/5,000 Hz; p < 0.03) and 5 (4,000/3,333 Hz; p < 0.01, 8,000/6,667 Hz: p < 0.05) with DPOAEs being more sensitive in identifying early cochlear dysfunction. Patients in stages 1 and 2 presented with normal puretone thresholds and DPOAEs, suggesting that cochlear functioning in these patients was normal. Early cochlear dysfunction, thereby indicating a subclinical hearing loss, was identified in stages 3, 4 and 5 by DPOAE testing. In addition, blood test results, drug intake and concomitant conditions were recorded and analysed which suggested a relationship between reduced cochlear functioning and increased electrolyte levels, treatment regimens and concomitant conditions. Participants in the later stages of CKD presented with early cochlear dysfunction, presenting with subclinical hearing loss. It was postulated that this subclinical hearing loss resulted from a combination of electrolytic, urea and creatinine imbalances, together with concomitant medical conditions and ototoxic drug intake. It was concluded that audiological monitoring be included in the management of patients with CKD and that DPOAEs be introduced as part of the test battery to monitor cochlear function in patients with varying degrees of CKD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-49
Number of pages6
JournalThe South African journal of communication disorders. Die Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir Kommunikasieafwykings
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


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