Role of Otoacoustic Emission Test in Active Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Introduction: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune, chronic systemic inflammatory disease affecting the small joints
and also has extra-articular manifestations. The early active stage of RA shows increased titer of anticyclic citrullinated
protein antibodies in serum. Cochlear involvement resulting in Sensorineural hearing loss is one of the extra-articular
manifestations in its active stage which can be identified at its subclinical level by screening with otoacoustic emission
(OAE) test. OAE are sounds produced by healthy hair cells of the cochlea which shows a decrease or disappearance in
Materials and Methods: Thirty RA patients in active stage satisfying 2010 American College of Rheumatism/European League
Against Rheumatism and Disease Activity Score IV criteria with normal hearing ability between 25 and 45 years of age and 30
age- and sex-matched controls were subjected to OAE test. Both males and females were included in the study.
Results: Statistical analysis was done using software SPSS version 21. All controls PASSed the test indicating normal hair
cell function in both ears (60 ears). Thirty active stage patients were tested for both ears (60 ears). Out of 60, 19 PASSed the
test and 41 showed REFER indicating subclinical hair cell dysfunction.
Conclusion: Study revealed subclinical hair cell dysfunction in 2/3rd of cases. Thus, OAE has a key role in screening, diagnosing
and in preventing hearing disability in RA patients.
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