Although psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a common chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease, little is known about audiovestibular impairment in this condition. We aimed to establish whether audiovestibular manifestations were present in patients with PsA.
A set of 60 consecutive patients who fulfilled the Moll and Wright criteria for PsA and 60 matched controls were studied. During the period of recruitment, individuals were excluded who had a history of cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular complications, peripheral artery disease, renal insufficiency, syphilis, Meniere disease and other vestibular syndromes, infections involving the inner ear, barotrauma, or were in treatment with ototoxic drugs.
Most patients with PsA were men (63%). The mean age at the time of our study was 52.9 years and the mean age at the onset of symptoms was 33 years. Thirty-six (60%) of the 60 patients showed abnormal hearing loss in the audiogram compared to only 5 (8.3%) of the 60 controls (p < 0.001). Values of audiometric tests (pure-tone average and speech reception threshold) yielded significant differences between patients and controls (p < 0.001). The audiogram disclosed a bilateral and symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) in PsA with predominant pattern of high frequency SNHL in patients with PsA (46.7%) compared to controls (8.3%, p < 0.001). Patients with PsA exhibited abnormal vestibular tests more commonly than controls. A significantly increased frequency of abnormal computerized dynamic posturography with a predominant vestibular loss pattern was also observed in patients (23.3%) compared to controls (0%, p < 0.001).
Our current study demonstrates strong evidence for inner ear damage in patients with PsA.
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