Auditory neuropathy in a patient exposed to xylene: case report.

To report the case of an adult patient who developed auditory complaints following xylene exposure, and to review the literature on the effects of solvent exposure on hearing.
The patient presented with a gradual deterioration in his ability to hear in difficult acoustic environments and also to hear complex sounds such as music, over a 40-year period. His symptoms began following exposure to the solvent xylene, and in the absence of any other risk factor. Our audiological investigations revealed normal otoacoustic emissions with absent auditory brainstem responses and absent acoustic reflexes in both ears, consistent with a diagnosis of bilateral auditory neuropathy. Central test results were also abnormal, indicating possible involvement of the central auditory pathway.
To our knowledge, this is the first report of retrocochlear hearing loss following xylene exposure. The test results may provide some insight into the effect of xylene as an isolated agent on the human auditory pathway.
AuthorsT H J Draper, D-E Bamiou
JournalThe Journal of laryngology and otology (J Laryngol Otol) Vol. 123 Issue 4 Pg. 462-5 (Apr 2009) ISSN: 1748-5460 [Electronic] England
PMID18439334 (Publication Type: Case Reports, Journal Article, Review)
Chemical References
  • Solvents
  • Xylenes
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural (chemically induced)
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure (adverse effects)
  • Retrocochlear Diseases (chemically induced)
  • Solvents (toxicity)
  • Xylenes (toxicity)

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