Original Research

Cochlear function in patients with chronic kidney disease

Samantha Marlanie Govender, Cyril Devdas Govender, Glenda Matthews
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 60, No 1 | a10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v60i1.10 | © 2013 Samantha Marlanie Govender, Cyril Devdas Govender, Glenda Matthews | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 February 2013 | Published: 27 November 2013

About the author(s)

Samantha Marlanie Govender, Discipline of Audiology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Cyril Devdas Govender, Discipline of Audiology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Glenda Matthews, Discipline of Statistics and Computer Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


Objective: 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).

Results: 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.

Conclusion: 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.


Cochlea; Hearing loss; Glomerular filtration; Dialysis; Pure tone audiometry; Otoacoustic emissions; Subclinical hearing loss; Monitoring; Electrolytes


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Crossref Citations

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