The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

Clinical Records

Sweet's disease and profound, bilateral, sensorineural hearing loss

S Chenga1 c1 and M da Cruza1

a1 Department of Otolaryngology, Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Objective: We report a case of Sweet's disease associated with rapid, profound loss of hearing, against a background of progressive, bilateral, sensorineural hearing loss.

Results: The clinical features were indistinguishable from those of immune-mediated inner ear disease. Establishment of a definitive diagnosis was a challenge due to the absence of a reliable diagnostic test. The patient was unresponsive to extensive immunosuppressive therapy and subsequently underwent cochlear implantation, with good hearing outcomes.

Conclusions: Profound, bilateral, sensorineural hearing loss in the context of Sweet's disease may be related to the underlying immunological aetiology. Cochlear implantation can successfully restore hearing when immunotherapy fails.

(Accepted May 19 2009)

(Online publication October 20 2009)


c1 Address for correspondence: Prof Melville da Cruz, Department of Surgery, Westmead Hospital, Hawkesbury Road, Westmead, NSW, Australia 2145. Fax: +61 2 98937440 E-mail:


Dr S Cheng takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper.

Competing interests: None declared