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Bilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss as a first symptom of infective endocarditis: two case reports

  • M Chroni (a1), E Prappa (a2) and I Kokkevi (a1)



Septic emboli are an unusual cause of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, for which few reports exist in the literature.

Case report:

This paper presents two cases of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, initially considered as idiopathic, but which were caused by septic emboli. Hearing loss in these cases was bilateral, sequential and total. The first patient had mild fever one week prior to their presentation with sudden sensorineural hearing loss; the other patient had no additional symptoms at presentation. These patients were later diagnosed with infective endocarditis, at two and seven months following the sudden sensorineural hearing loss respectively, showing that septic emboli had been the cause of sudden sensorineural hearing loss.


Septic emboli should be considered as a possible cause of sudden sensorineural hearing loss in cases of total hearing loss. This form of hearing loss should prompt the otolaryngologist to further investigate for infective endocarditis.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Matilda Chroni, ENT Department, Evaggelismos Hospital, Ypsilantou 45–47, Athens 10676, Greece Fax: +30 2106 744 692 E-mail:


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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
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