Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2020 Dec;63(12):558-563. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2020.00318.

The Significance of Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio and Platelet-to-Lymphocyte Ratio in Acute Low Tone Sensorineural Hearing Loss

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Background and Objectives
Acute low tone sensorineural hearing loss (ALHL), an acuteonset hearing loss limited to low tone, was thought to be a subtype of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) but also considered as new disease entity because it shows quite different symptoms, progress, and prognosis. More recently, however, it is thought that SSNHL results from chronic inflammation and thrombosis. Some studies have reported that neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) were high in SSNHL patients, and that they were significant as prognostic factors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the significance of NLR and PLR in ALHL.
Subjects and Method
From January 2009 to June 2019, we retrospectively studied 58 patients who were diagnosed with ALHL. Characteristics of patients such as sex, age, symptoms and signs, the results of serologic test and pure tone audiometry were evaluated for recovery and for recurrence. Also, we selected 58 people with the same age as control group.
A total of 167 patients were identified, of whom a half was diagnosed with ALHL and the other half with were the control group. Among the 58 patients, the mean age was 38.0±14.5 years old, and 10 (17.2%) patients were male and 48 (82.8%) patients were female. Among the patients, 35 (60.3%) were hospitalized and 23 (39.7%) were outpatients. For recovery, 38 (65.5%) patients fully recovered while 11 (19.0%) partially recovered, and 9 (15.5%) did not recover. Additionally, 16 (27.6%) patients recurred later with similar symptoms. Between the patient group and control group, there were significant differences in the total white blood cell count, neutrophil count, NLR and PLR (p=0.015, 0.001, 0.002, and 0.025), but there was no significant differences between the recovery group and non-recovery group in any laboratory findings. Also, NLR and PLR showed no significant differences between the recurred group and non-recurred group.
NLR and PLR in ALHL patients were relatively high compared to the control group, but there were no significant differences between the recovery group and non-recovery group. Furthermore, there was no correlation between NLR and PLR with recurrence. High NLR and PLR values in ALHL patients might reflect its inflammatory etiology, but there is lack evidence for them to serve as prognostic factors.


Hematologic test; Pathophysiology; Sensorineural hearing loss
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