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Letters Aminoglycoside ototoxicity

Vestibular function is also vulnerable

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 08 November 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:952
  1. Barry M Seemungal, honorary research clinician,
  2. Adolfo M Bronstein, professor of clinical neurology and neuro-otology
  1. Neuro-otology Unit, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Imperial College, Charing Cross Hospital, London W6 8RF
  1. b.seemungal{at}

    We are concerned to correct a common misconception—namely, that ototoxicity is synonymous with deafness. Except for the rare cases of mitochondrial mutations discussed by Bitner-Glindzicz and Rahman, vestibular function is much more sensitive to aminoglycosides than hearing function.1 Ninety per cent of patients with gentamicin associated vestibular loss will not be deaf.2 …

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