Radiation-induced hearing impairment in patients treated for malignant parotid tumor

Chun Ta Liao, Chun Chieh Wang, Wen Cheng Chen, Hsin Cheng Tsai, Simon G. Tang, Jami Yi Yeh, Ji Hong Hong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

40 Scopus citations


Radiation-induced hearing loss was evaluated in 21 patients with unilateral malignant parotid tumors treated with surgery and radiotherapy. The contralateral ear was used as a control. Eight patients (38%) were found to have a reduction in static compliance of the tympanic membrane (type B tympanogram) in the irradiated ear. By audiometry, significant hearing loss was found in 9 patients (43%). These hearing losses were mainly sensorineural, as shown by a similar reduction in both air and bone conduction, although mixed-type hearing loss existed in some patients. A statistically significant difference in incidence of 67% versus 0% (p = .0085) was noted for patients with a cochlear dose of greater than or equal to 60 Gy, in comparison to those receiving doses of less than 60 Gy. A type B tympanogram was also found to be a prognostic factor for significant sensorineural hearing loss. Patients with type B tympanograms had a much higher incidence of significant sensorineural hearing loss than those with type A tympanograms (88% versus 15%, p = .02). This study clearly shows that radiotherapy can induce significant hearing impairment, especially when the cochlear doses are higher than 60 Gy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-1164
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Audiometry
  • Hearing
  • Parotid neoplasm
  • Radiotherapy
  • Tympanometry


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