OBJECTIVES : This study investigated the changes in vestibular and cochlear function in patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy.
METHODS : A longitudinal study of 32 participants (10-70 years) receiving chemotherapy participated in the study. Baseline and exit vestibular and hearing assessments that included video head impulse (VHIT) testing, cervical and ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP), dynamic visual acuity (DVA) and pure-tone audiometry were performed at the patient’s treatment venue.
RESULTS : Half (50%) of the participants showed cochleotoxicity from baseline to exit testing, with left ears significantly more affected than right ears. There was no consistent relationship between hearing loss and vestibular dysfunction. DVA yielded normal results at baseline and exit testing in all participants. VEMP responses were absent in 28.1% of participants at baseline, reflecting the challenges of using VEMP for monitoring. VEMP and VHIT results showed a statistically significant (p < 0.05) decline in results from baseline to exit testing; however, participants did not report symptoms related to vestibular dysfunction. VHIT also showed left ears significantly (p < 0.05) more affected than right ears.
CONCLUSION : VHIT proved to be a valuable measure of changes in vestibular function secondary to ototoxicity. Future investigations should determine vestibulotoxicity criteria and optimal protocols for vestibulotoxicity monitoring at the patient’s treatment venue.