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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2012, Article ID 216592, 4 pages
Research Article

Acute-Phase Inflammatory Response in Idiopathic Sudden Deafness: Pathogenic Implications

1UGC Otorhinolaryngology, Virgen del Rocio University Hospital, C/Manuel Siurot s/n, 41013 Seville, Spain
2Faculty of Medicine, University of Seville, C/Doctor Fedriani s/n, 41009 Seville, Spain

Received 30 April 2012; Revised 13 October 2012; Accepted 19 October 2012

Academic Editor: Leonard P. Rybak

Copyright © 2012 Miguel A. López-González et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The acute-phase inflammatory response in the peripheral bloodstream can be an expression of transient cerebral ischaemia in idiopathic sudden deafness. For this, a neurological and otorhinolaryngological examination of each patient, performing tests on audiometry, and tympanometry, haemogram, and cranial magnetic resonance were performed. The acute-phase inflammatory response manifests as an increased neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio that is detected 48–72 hours after the appearance of sudden deafness. This study shows that there is an acute-phase response in the peripheral bloodstream with an increased neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio as an expression of an inflammatory process that can be caused by transient cerebral ischaemia in sudden deafness. In addition, the increased neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio can rule out a viral origin of sudden deafness, since a viral infection lowers the neutrophil count and increases the lymphocyte count, thus reducing the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio. These findings aid in understanding the pathogenic mechanisms involved in sudden deafness and offer better treatment to the patient.