Case Report

Primary autoimmune inner ear disease in pregnancy

Fiona C. E. Hill, Claire Iseli, Stephen O’Leary


Autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED) refers to a group of diseases in which hearing loss or vestibular dysfunction results from an immune-mediated process. We describe the first case of primary AIED associated with pregnancy in the literature. It is of particular interest as it spans two pregnancies and provides evidence based multidisciplinary guidance for management. A case is presented of a 39-year-old woman with left AIED 22 weeks into her first pregnancy and right AIED 24 weeks into her second pregnancy. A review of the literature examines the safety and efficacy of systemic steroid use in pregnancy. Systemic steroids were able to stabilize the patients hearing during both pregnancies and were weaned by 2 months post-partum. Oral steroids stabilized the hearing in both her ears during both pregnancies but did not improve her hearing from presentation. Of note, systemic steroids were able to be completely weaned post-partum more rapidly than in typical cases of AIED.

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