Estrogen and hearing from a clinical point of view; characteristics of auditory function in women with Turner syndrome


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Abstract

Turner syndrome is a chromosomal aberration affecting 1:2000 newborn girls, in which all or part of one X chromosome is absent. This leads to ovarial dysgenesis and little or no endogenous estrogen production. These women have, among many other syndromal features, a high occurrence of ear and hearing problems, and neurocognitive dysfunctions, including reduced visual-spatial abilities; it is assumed that estrogen deficiency is at least partially responsible for these problems.In this, study 30 Turner women aged 40–67, with mild to moderate hearing loss, performed a battery of hearing tests aimed at localizing the lesion causing the sensorineural hearing impairment and assessing central auditory function, primarily sound localization.The results of TEOAE, ABR and speech recognition scores in noise were all indicative of cochlear dysfunction as the cause of the sensorineural impairment. Phase audiometry, a test for sound localization, showed mild disturbances in the Turner women compared to the reference group, suggesting that auditory-spatial dysfunction is another facet of the recognized neurocognitive phenotype in Turner women.

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