Risk factors for cisplatin-associated ototoxicity in pediatric oncology patients

Pediatric Blood & Cancer, 03/30/2012

Gender and cumulative dose are important clinical biomarkers of cisplatin ototoxicity. Severity of ototoxicity may be inversely related to age at time of exposure, with very young patients exhibiting higher grades of hearing loss following cisplatin therapy.


  • The authors performed a retrospective chart review of 102 pediatric patients who had completed cisplatin therapy for osteosarcoma, neuroblastoma, hepatoblastoma, or germ cell tumor.
  • Patients were diagnosed at Riley Hospital for Children between January 1995 and June 2008, were less than 18 years old at diagnosis, and had normal hearing prior to therapy.
  • Audiograms were scored using the Brock scale (0–4), a validated grading system for cisplatin-related hearing loss.


  • Forty-two percent of the patients experienced hearing loss and 28% had moderate to severe ototoxicity (Brock score ≥2).
  • Males were at significantly greater risk for developing hearing loss than were females (P = 0.005, OR 4.812).
  • Age at cancer diagnosis was inversely related to severity of ototoxicity.
  • Patients who suffered Brock grade 3 ototoxicity had a mean age of 4.5 years versus 11.5 years and 7.2 years for grades 1 and 2, respectively (P = 0.02).
  • Cumulative cisplatin dose was also identified as a risk factor for development of ototoxicity (P = 0.03).

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