Audio vestibular involvement in Behcet's disease (BD).


Abstract: There is only three reports on the frequency of audio ves­tibular involvement in BD in the literature. In these studies, done in small population of BD patients, the frequency of auditory involvement were reported as high as 60%, and the vestibular involvement between 25 to 37%. We studied pros­pectively the audio vestibular involvement in 80 patients with BD, and compared them with 102 controls (CG) includ­ing hospital staffs, patients with other rheumatologic dis­eases, oral aphthous stomatitis or uveitis due to other causes. For all patients a complete ENT clinical examination and audiometry (PT., speech and impedance) were done. The re­sults were compared by the student paired t test. The ages of the patients in both groups were in the same range. There was no significant difference between the two groups in the sex ratio and history of noise trauma or ear infection and in using ototoxic drugs. Hearing loss was present in 27.5% of BD and 24.5% of CG which was not significant (NS) with a P = 0.65. It was sensorineural type in the most cases (86% in BD and 80% in CG), again with no significant difference (P = 0.85). Vestibular involvement was not very frequent: Tinnitus was present in 7.5% of BD and 6% of CG (P = 0.89, NS), vertigo in 9% of BD and 7% of CG (P < 0.84, NS), dizziness in 7.5% of BD and 5% of CG (P > 0.67, NS) and hypo active Caloric test in 9% of BD and 5% of CG (P > 0.53). The other findings were less frequent and there was no significant difference between the two groups. This study suggests that the fre­quency of audio vestibular involvement in BD is not fre­quent, at least in the early stages of the disease. Thigh fre­quency reported in previous reports may be due to the longer duration of the disease in the selected patients or a statistical bias of small sample with no control group. To verify the above hypothesis we have started a new study on patients with a disease duration more than 5 years.