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Challenges in Ototoxicity Monitoring in the Pediatric Oncology Population
Journal of the American Academy of Audiology (2014)
  • Johnnie K. Bass, University of Memphis
  • Shaum P. Bhagat, University of Memphis

Platinum-based chemotherapy and cranial radiation are effective treatment options commonly prescribed for a variety of childhood cancers. These therapies can, and often do, result in early- and late-onset adverse health effects such as hearing loss. Undetected hearing loss is particularly concerning in young children developing speech and language skills and can negatively affect academic achievement and the psychosocial well-being of both young and older children. Early detection of hearing loss in pediatric oncology patients and early intervention are critical to help these patients succeed in achieving these developmental milestones.


The primary goal of this study was to create a tutorial for audiologists concerning the monitoring of ototoxicity in the pediatric oncology population. Monitoring hearing for children receiving potentially ototoxic cancer treatments presents special issues and challenges for audiologists. This tutorial will orient the reader to these special issues and challenges, and potential solutions will be proposed.


This tutorial is organized into sections, including an overview of platinum compound and cranial radiation treatments commonly used to treat pediatric cancer, modifications of the test battery required to appropriately monitor for ototoxic hearing loss in children, a proposal for a monitoring protocol, and descriptions of the grading scales that are frequently used by oncologists to determine the severity of ototoxic hearing loss.


Identification of ototoxicity is crucial in children receiving cancer treatments because of the impact that acquired hearing loss has on social and educational outcomes in the developing child. Monitoring hearing in children presents challenges that are unique to this population. Much effort has been put forth in developing and validating the International Society of Pediatric Oncology ototoxicity grading scale for international use in reporting auditory outcomes in clinical trials. In the future, the development of standardized monitoring protocols will assist audiologists in providing optimal care to children treated for cancer.
  • Cancer,
  • carboplatin,
  • child,
  • cisplatin,
  • hearing loss,
  • otoacoustic emissions,
  • ototoxicity,
  • radiation
Publication Date
September, 2014
Publisher Statement
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Citation Information
Johnnie K. Bass and Shaum P. Bhagat. "Challenges in Ototoxicity Monitoring in the Pediatric Oncology Population" Journal of the American Academy of Audiology Vol. 25 Iss. 8 (2014) p. 760 - 774 ISSN: 2157-3107
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