Objectives estimate the prevalence of ototoxic hearing loss in drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) patients treated with aminoglycoside antibiotics via a systematic review and meta-analysis. Estimate the annual preventable cases of hearing loss in DR-TB patients and leverage findings to discuss primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.
Methods studies published between 2005 and 2018 that reported prevalence of post-treatment hearing loss in DR-TB patients were included. We performed a random effects meta-analysis to determine pooled prevalence of ototoxic hearing loss overall and by medication type. Preventable hearing loss cases were estimated using World Health Organization (WHO) data on DR-TB treatment and prevalence determined by the meta-analysis.
Results eighteen studies from 10 countries were included. Pooled prevalence of ototoxic hearing loss and the corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) was 40.62% CI [32.77– 66.61%] for all drugs (kanamycin: 49.65% CI [32.77– 66.61%], amikacin: 38.93% CI [26.44–53.07%], capreomycin: 10.21% CI [4.33–22.21%]). Non-use of aminoglycosides may result in prevention of approximately 50,000 hearing loss cases annually.
Conclusions aminoglycoside use results in high prevalence of ototoxic hearing loss. Widespread prevention of hearing loss can be achieved by following updated WHO guidelines for DR-TB treatment. When hearing loss cannot be avoided, secondary and tertiary prevention should be prioritized.