An endothelial dysfunction has been described in idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) patients. The purpose of our review was to: i) identify, evaluate and review recent research about cardiovascular risk factors involvement and signs of endothelial dysfunction in ISSHL; ii) implication of these discovering in clinical practice and future research. A Medline literature search was conducted to identify any study on the involvement of endothelial dysfunction in ISSHL, published in the English language in the last decade. The following MEDLINE search terms were used: sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) and endothelial dysfunction (text words). Additional studies were identified by hand searching the references of original articles and review articles. Studies were not excluded on the basis of the qualitative or quantitative definitions of SSHL, treatment regimens, or outcome measures. Data were extracted from included papers by a reviewer. Information on the patients, investigations, methods, interventions, and outcomes were systematically analyzed. Characteristics and results of all included studies were reviewed systematically. High levels of adhesion molecules, hyperhomocysteinemia and lower folate levels, unbalanced oxidative status, a lower value of flow-mediated dilatation of brachial artery and a reduced percentage of circulating endothelial progenitor cells in patients affected by ISSHL support the hypothesis that this syndrome should be considered as a microcirculation disorder based on endothelial dysfunction and drive clinicians to implement all the traditional strategies used for preventing cardiovascular events, to also reduce the likelihood of ISSHL occurrence.
Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss; endothelial dysfunction; oxidative stress; thromboembolic risk.