Cisplatin-induced ototoxicity: the current state of ototoxicity monitoring in New Zealand.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Background: Many well-known pharmacologic agents have been shown to have toxic effects to the cochleo-vestibular system. Examples of such ototoxic agents include cisplatin and aminoglycoside antibiotics. Ototoxicity monitoring consists of a comprehensive pattern of audiological assessments designed to detect the onset of any hearing loss. Three main methods have emerged over the past decade, and include the basic audiological assessment, extended high frequency (EHF) audiometry, and otoacoustic emission (OAE) measurement. These measures can be used separately or in combination, depending on clinical purpose and patient considerations. It is suggested by the American Academy of Audiology Position Statement and Clinical Practice Guidelines: Ototoxicity Monitoring, that baseline testing be done in a fairly comprehensive manner, including pure-tone thresholds in both the conventional- and extended high frequency ranges, tympanometry, speech audiometry, and the testing of OAEs (AAA, 2009). Anecdotal evidence suggests that New Zealand Audiologists do not currently follow a national ototoxicity monitoring protocol. Therefore the main aim of this study was to explore the current status of ototoxicity monitoring within New Zealand. Hypothesis: It was hypothesized that hospital based Audiology departments across New Zealand each followed their own internal ototoxicity monitoring protocol based, to a large extent, on the guidelines proposed by the American Academy of Audiology and by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Method: Through the use of a Telephone Interview Questionnaire, 16 charge Audiologists were interviewed to establish their current state of knowledge regarding ototoxicity monitoring at 16 out of 20 district health boards in New Zealand. Enquiries about the current systems and procedures in place at their departments together with any suggestions and recommendations to improve on these systems were made. Results: This study found that only 9 of the 16 DHBs interviewed currently follow an ototoxicity monitoring protocol. Furthermore, other than initially hypothesized the origin of the protocols followed by the remaining 7 departments were reported to have ranged from independently developed protocols to historically adopted protocols. One department implemented an adapted version of a protocol by Fausti et al. (Ear and Hearing 1999; 20(6):497-505). This diversity in origin however, does confirm our initial suspicion that no universal and standardized monitoring protocol is currently being followed by Audiologists working in the public health sector of New Zealand.