Background Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease. Via autoimmune mediators, AS can damage the auditory system similar to other systems. Otoacoustic emissions studies in patients with AS showed that the damage that causes hearing loss was in the outer hair cells. The medial olivocochlear (MOC) reflex is used to evaluate the medial olivocochlear efferent system (MOES), which includes the outer hair cells.
Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of subclinical damage in the inner ear with the aid of the MOC reflex test in patients with AS with no hearing complaints.
Methods Thirty-four patients with AS and a control group of 30 healthy volunteers with similar demographic characteristics were evaluated in the study. Otoacoustic emission responses, MOC reflex results, and frequency-specific and total suppression findings were compared between the groups. The relationship between the clinical and laboratory findings for the patients with AS and the MOC reflex data were also investigated.
Results Reduced MOC reflex response (p=0.04) and suppression (p=0.019) were detected in patients with AS. When the clinical and laboratory findings for the patients with AS and the MOC reflex test results were compared, a significant correlation was found only between the MOC reflex and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).
Conclusions The results showed that AS can damage the inner ear, especially the MOES, and can reduce the MOC reflex response without clinical hearing loss.
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Guinan JJ Jr (2010) Cochlear efferent innervation and function. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg18: 447–453
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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