BACKGROUND: The pathomechanism and location of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) is unclear. In a previous case-control study, we found elevated fibrinogen concentrations and a higher prevalence of T allele carriers of the glycoprotein (Gp) Ia C807T polymorphism in ISSHL patients.<br /><br />METHODOLOGY: 127 patients with ISSHL (mean age 53.3 years, 48.8% females), who underwent a standard therapy with high dose steroids, pentoxifyllin and sterofundine over 8 days were included. We examined the influence of GpIa genotype and fibrinogen (BclI-, A312-, HaeIII-) genotype and fibrinogen plasma levels on hearing recovery after 8 weeks (change from baseline: 0 dB = no recovery, >0 to 10 dB = moderate recovery, >10 dB = good recovery). In a subsample of 59 patients with ISSHL, we further studied the association of platelet glycoprotein GpIa, Ib and IIIa densities on hearing recovery as well as the possible effect-modification of platelet glycoproteins on hearing recovery by plasma fibrinogen.<br /><br />RESULTS: In univariate analysis, neither the GpIa genotype nor fibrinogen genotype (all p>0.1) but lower fibrinogen levels (p = 0.029), less vertigo (p = 0.002) and lower GpIIIa receptor density (p = 0.037, n = 59) were associated with hearing recovery. In multivariate analysis, fibrinogen significantly modified the effect of GPIa receptor density on good hearing recovery (effect-modification on multiplicative scale OR = 0.45 (95% confidence interval (0.21-0.94)), p = 0.03). GPIb receptor density below the mean was associated with a 2-fold increase in good hearing recovery both in patients with fibrinogen levels above (p = 0.04) as well as in patients with fibrinogen levels below the mean (p = 0.06). There was no indication for an effect-modification (p = 0.97).<br /><br />CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest a vascular/rheological origin of ISSHL with unique features of thrombosis in the inner ear artery that may include complex interrelationships among platelet glycoproteins and plasma fibrinogen.
Weiss, D., Neuner, B., Gorzelniak, K., Bremer, A., Rudack, C., & Walter, M. (2014). Platelet glycoproteins and fibrinogen in recovery from idiopathic sudden hearing loss. PLoS ONE, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0086898