Ocular and auditory abnormalities in vitiligo patients: A case- control study.

Vitiligo is characterized by the destruction of functional melanocytes in the skin. This destruction could target melanocytes anywhere in the body, which could affect function of organs where they reside. Melanocytes in the skin, uveal tract and ear are similar in their physiology and morphology and share a common embryologic origin.The present work aimed to study the association of vitiligo with ocular and auditory abnormalities.This case-control study was carried out on forty vitiligo patients and twenty normal healthy controls. All patients and controls were subjected to auditory examination (Otoscopic examination and immittancemetry, pure tone audiometery to assess peripheral hearing sensitivity and transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE) to assess central hearing ability) and standard ocular examination including: visual acuity test, slit lamp biomicroscopy , and optical coherence tomography (OCT).There was significant higher prevalence of hearing loss in vitiligo patients than controls. Ocular abnormalities were found to be significant higher in vitiligo patients but no significant difference regarding visual acuity.Vitiligo is a systemic disease and could be associated with impairment of melanocytes function in other organs including the eyes and ears. Auditory melanocytes function is related to hearing process and thus their destruction could lead to hearing impairment yet ocular melanocytes don't play direct role in detection or transfer of visual information. Vitiligo could be associated with ocular abnormalities and hearing loss.

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Authors: A Elereny, S Assal, A Gomaa, B Almakkawy, R Genedy