HEARING DEFICIT": IS IT A eOMPLieATION OF SPINAL ANESTHESIA?
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The present study was designed to determine the degree of hearing deficit in patients assigned to receive spinal anesthesia, and to determine if the incidence is related to the size of spinal needle. The study com prised 26 male patients assigned to receive spinal anesthesia using ei ther a 22-gauge (Group I) or a 26-gauge (Group II) spincd needle. Audiometricstudies were performed preoperatively and 24 hr after operation, and the decrease of hearing level was determined. For patients with de creased hearing level by >10 dB, a third ccudiometry was performed 7 • days postoperatively. There was a decrease of hearing levels of varied in tensity in all patients included in both groups; however, the mean change in hearing level was significant in group I on both sides. In group I, there was a significant (P<0.05) bilateral decrease of hearing level at 125, 250, 500 and 1000 Hz, while a non-significant decrease at 2000, 3000, 4000 and 6000 Hz compared to the preoperative levels, and a decrease of 10 dB or more at anyfiequency occurred in 9 of 13 patients (92.3%) in group I and in 4 of 13 patients (30.7%) in group H. Seven days after operation, the 13 patients with decreased hearing level by >10 dB were reevaluated, and persistent decrease in hearing level by lOdB was reported in only one patient in group I. We can conclude that the, temporary hearing ' loss is one of postspinal complications that occurs by an incidence of 50%; however, this incidence can be reduced by the use of more fine spinalneedles.;