Systemic Aminoglycosides-Induced Vestibulotoxicity in Humans

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This systematic review aimed to investigate the prevalence and characteristics of vestibular adverse effects of aminoglycoside (AG) therapy in humans and to analyze objective vestibular tests for the detection of AG-induced vestibulotoxicity.


PubMed, Cochrane Database, Web of Science, and reference lists of all included studies were screened by two independent researchers. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines were followed. Studies were included according to preset inclusion criteria and reported outcomes of studies evaluating vestibular function using one or more objective vestibular function tests in adults and children after systemic AG administration. The methodological quality of each study was assessed using the quality assessment tool for quantitative studies. Interrater reliability was established using Cohen’s Kappa.


Twenty-seven studies were included, with the vast majority showing AG-induced vestibulotoxic side effects, ranging from 0 to 60%. Most studies reported AG-induced abnormalities by caloric and rotatory testing, whereas only a few studies reported using video Head Impulse test and vestibular evoked myogenic potential testing.


Because type I hair cells (particularly of the semicircular canals) are more susceptible to ototoxicity, video Head Impulse test and vestibular evoked myogenic potential testing seem more promising for the early detection of vestibulotoxicity than caloric and rotatory testing. Prospective studies using an extensive vestibular test battery are needed to further characterize the impact of AGs on the different vestibular end organs and to identify the most sensitive vestibular technique for the early detection of vestibulotoxicity.

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