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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 28  |  Page : 29--39

Combined effects of noise and gentamicin on hearing in the guinea pig

Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité, Vandoeuvre, France

Correspondence Address:
P Campo
Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité, Avenue de Bourgogne, BP27, 54501 Cédex, Vandoeuvre
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.31631

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The last ten years, the use of gentamicin has increased due to antibiotic resistance among bacterial pathogens. One of the side effects of gentamicin is its toxicity on hearing. Several authors had even pointed out synergistic effects of gentamicin and noise on hearing. It was therefore reasonable to think that the damaging effects of noise could be emphasized by a gentamicin treatment of the subjects. In order to test the applicability of the Leq8h for estimating the hazard of noise on animals treated with a non-ototoxic dose of gentamicin (40 mg/kg for 8 days), two experiments were carried out with guinea pigs. The animals were exposed to octave band noises centered at 8 kHz and treated with gentamicin either simultaneously or sequentially with regard to the noise exposure. Two noise exposures having different acoustic energy, respectively Leq8h = 85 dB and 98.8 dB SPL, were tested. The auditory function of the guinea pigs was tested by recording auditory-evoked potentials. The electrophysiological findings were completed by histological data. The gentamicin treatment tested in the current studies did not cause any auditory permanent threshold shift neither cochlear disruptions, although the treatment could be considered as approximately ten times the therapeutic dose used in human. The auditory deficit induced by the mixed exposures to noise and gentamicin did not worsen the noise effect alone in our experimental conditions. As a result, the European value recommended for noise exposure (Leq8h=85 dB) seems to be robust enough to protect gentamicin-treated workers.


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