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Hearing loss does not occur in young patients undergoing spinal anesthesia
  1. Gulay Ok, M.D.,
  2. Demet Tok, M.D.,
  3. Koray Erbuyun, M.D.,
  4. Asim Aslan, M.D. and
  5. Idil Tekin, M.D.
  1. From the Department of Anesthesiology (G.O., D.T, K.E., I.T.), Faculty of Medicine, Celal Bayar University, Manisa, Turkey
  2. Department of Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery (A.A.), Faculty of Medicine, Celal Bayar University, Manisa, Turkey
  1. Reprint requests: Gulay Ok, M.D., Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Celal Bayar University, Anafartalar Mahallesi 3. Sokak Saygın Apt. Kat:2 Daire: 3 Manisa, Turkey. E-mail: gulayok{at}


Background and objectives Although uncommon, hearing loss after spinal anesthesia has been described. Vestibulocochlear dysfunction after spinal anesthesia in which 22-gauge and 25-gauge Quincke needles were used was investigated to determine if needle size affected hearing.

Methods Patients with American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status I and II, aged 20 to 40 years, who were undergoing lower extremity surgery under spinal anesthesia were randomized into 2 groups. After intravenous hydration, 3 mL of 0.5% bupivacaine was administered for spinal anesthesia, which was performed with a 22-gauge Quincke needle in group I (n = 30) patients and a 25-gauge Quincke needle in group II (n = 30) patients. Before surgery and 2 days after surgery, pure-tone audiometry and tympanometry were performed. Preoperative and postoperative hearing data were obtained in the right and left ears for every frequency. Headache, nausea, and vomiting and cranial nerve III, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII function were assessed on postoperative day 2.

Results Demographic data were not different between the groups. No hypoacousis was noted at any frequency during the entire testing period in either group. Two patients from group I experienced postdural puncture headache on postoperative day 3, and neither had hearing loss. No patient had cranial nerve dysfunction.

Conclusions We were unable to induce hearing loss in young patients undergoing spinal anesthesia by injecting the anesthetic with a 22-gauge or a 25-gauge Quincke needle.

  • Spinal anesthesia
  • Complications
  • Hearing loss
  • Audiometry

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