CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Laryngorhinootologie 2019; 98(S 02): S319-S320
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1686454

Serology in Acute Hearing Loss

A Mertens
1   Universitätsklinik für Hals-Nasen- und Ohrenheilkunde, Magdeburg
U Vorwerk
1   Universitätsklinik für Hals-Nasen- und Ohrenheilkunde, Magdeburg
› Author Affiliations


The current S1-guidline “Acute Hearing Loss“ by the German Association of Otolaryngology states that performing a serology to identify some viruses and bacteria can be useful on a case-by-case basis.

In our clinic, serologic tests for Borrelia, HSV and VZV was performed on patients diagnosed with acute hearing loss.


After analysing the data of all patients treated for idiopathic hearing loss in our clinic between 01.01.2017 and 17.09.2018, it was determined that serologic testing for VZV, HSV and Borrelia had been performed on 216 patients.


Serologic tests to identify Varizella Zoster were performed on 155 patients. All of them showed negative IgM, whereas 96,8% were positive for IgG.

Serological identification of HSV was performed on 35 patients. 94,3% were IgM negative and 5,7% were positive. IgG antibodies were developed by 88,6%.

Serologic testing for Borrelia was performed on 166 patients. 85% of them were IgG negative. IgM antibodies were found in 9,1% of the patients.

44 patients showed positive IgM and/or IgG levels, consequently an Immunoblot was carried out. 27,3% individuals had a positive Immunoblot. None of the lumbar puncture indicated an intrathecal immunoglobulin synthesis.


As shown by the results, performing a regular serology proves to be inexpedient. Especially, serologic identification of Borrelia led to invasive further examinations which, in the end, did not verify a neuro borreliosis. As none of our patients indicated a zosterian infection, performing a serology to identify VZV turned out to be equally inexpedient. Instead, detailed anamneses and examinations should be carried out to initiate further serologic testing if therapy was proven to be necessary.

Publication History

Publication Date:
23 April 2019 (online)

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