Recent years, the discussion about whether platelets participant in the development of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) continues and many studies on the relationship between them have come to our attention. Some studies believe that platelet parameters have significantly changed in patients with SSHL, while some not, controversially. Therefore, to investigate the association between platelet parameters, including mean platelet volume (MPV), platelet distribution width (PDW) and platelet count (PLT), and SSHL, expecting to resolve controversy and provide clinical evidence for diagnosis and monitoring of SSHL. Basic methods: Literature was retrieved searching electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, and Scopus) and searching references of related articles by hand. A total of 18 case–control studies involving 1837/1734 subjects (SSHL/control) were included. Meta-analysis showed there was no difference between the patients who suffered SSHL and healthy controls in MPV level [standard mean difference (SMD) (95% confidence interval (CI)) = 0.16 (−0.07, 0.40), I2 = 80%, P<0.00001] and PLT [SMD (95% CI) = −0.03(−0.18, 0.12), I2 = 73%, P<0.00001]. While PDW exhibited significant difference [SMD (95% CI) = 0.85 (0.20, 1.49), I2 = 93%, P<0.00001]. Subgroup analysis about geographical area suggested PLT have obvious evidence for SSHL in Eastern country [SMD (95% CI) = 0.23 (0.14, 0.33), I2 = 0%, P=0.81]. Our study did not support a correlation between MPV and SSHL, while PLT may have clinical significance for SSHL in Eastern country. With insufficient data to explore the resource of heterogeneity for PDW, there is no decisive conclusion reached.

Introduction

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) or sudden deafness, is typically defined as a hearing loss of at least 30 decibels occurring over at least three consecutive frequencies and lasting at least 3 days [1]. The estimated incidence varies from approximately 5 to 20 up to 160 per 100000 people per year [2]. The patient typically first notices symptoms upon awakening and describes an aural fullness/blockage. They may also experience tinnitus (usual), dizziness, or vertigo [1]. SSHL is considered to be a medical emergency, and, as such, requires prompt evaluation and treatment [3]. So far, the diagnosis and monitor of SSHL are mainly dependent on audio acuity, eardrum test and imaging, lacking of simple and quick serum markers. Recent years, many studies have showed that vascular events (vascular occlusions, hypostasis, ischemia, etc.) are assumed to be involved with the pathogenesis of SSHL [4–6]; therefore, some researchers focus on the clinical significance of platelet parameters (mean platelet volume (MPV), platelet distribution width (PDW), and platelet count (PLT)) in SSHL to explore whether platelet parameters can sever as markers to provide assistant for diagnosis and monitor of SSHL. However, it is a controversial topic whether platelet parameters are associated with SSHL, some hold positive attitude [7–9] and some are in the opposite [10–14]. Therefore, we carry out this systematic review and meta-analysis to expect to solve this controversy and provide clinical evidence for diagnosis and monitor of SSHL.

Materials and methods

Literature search and selection criteria

This systematic review and meta-analysis is reported in accordance with the Preferred Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) Statement. Studies were retrieved by searching electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, Cochrane and Scopus) and searching references of related articles by hand. These computer searches were from the creation of the databases up to December 2017. Retrieval strategy of PubMed as follows: (((((Sudden Hearing Loss or Deafness, Sudden or Sudden Deafness))) OR “Hearing Loss, Sudden” [Mesh])) AND (((((platelet count) OR platelet)) OR ((platelet distribution width) OR PDW)) OR ((“Mean Platelet Volume” [Mesh]) OR mean platelet volume)).

The inclusion criteria were as follows: (1) Participants: SSHL patients without other illness related to platelet activity, such as venous thrombosis, cardiovascular disease; (2) Exposures: platelet parameters level; (3) Comparatives: healthy controls; (4) Type of studies: independent case–controlled studies using either a hospital-based or population-based design; (5) Publications with English or Chinese, the latter must be on Medline.

Exclusion criteria included the following: (1) Duplicated data; (2) Case reports and studies where the original data could not be extracted; (3) Animal experiments and basic research; (4) Reviews and letters.

Data extraction

Two authors (S.F. Ji and X.M. Chen) independently extracted the original data. Disagreement was resolved by discussion. If the two authors could not reach a consensus, the result was reviewed by a third author (H. Shi). The extracted data consisted of the following items: the first author’s name, publication year, population (ethnicity), methods, study design, matching criteria, sex, total number of cases and controls, and age (years).

Quality assessment

The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) was used to assess the methodological quality of the individual studies. Each study was evaluated and scored based on three criteria: selection (4 stars), comparability (2 stars), and exposure (3 stars). The NOS point scale ranged from 0 to 9 stars, the researches with NOS ≥7 stars were considered high quality.

Statistical analysis

We utilized Review manager 5.3 and Stata 14.0 software to perform the meta-analysis in the present study. Heterogeneity among studies was assessed by the I2 statistic, and P<0.10 and I2 > 50% indicated evidence of heterogeneity. If heterogeneity existed among the studies, a random-effects model was used to estimate the pooled standard mean difference (SMD). Otherwise, a fixed-effects model was adopted. The SMD and corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) were utilized to assess the associations. Subgroups analysis regarding geographical area, median of detection of patients, sample size, with EDTA anticoagulation treatment and NOS quality, were also performed to explore source of heterogeneity. Egger’s and Begg’s tests (P<0.05) can demonstrate a statistically significant publication bias and were conducted with the Stata 14.0 software, if there was any publication bias, trim, and fill method was implemented. Sensitive analysis was also conducted by changing effect model.

Results

Selection and characteristics of studies

We retrieved a total of 152 studies in the literature search (Figure 1). After duplicates were removed, only 88 full-text studies remained. Then, 70 articles, with 45 no-related reports, 17 reviews and letters, 2 animals research, 4 case reports and 2 insufficient-data studies, were excluded after screening abstracts and full-texts. Finally, 18 case–control studies were included [7–24], 12 studies mentioned MPV [7–14,16–18,24], 5 studies detected PDW [7,8,12,16,17], and 16 studies reported PLT level [7–10,12,13,15–24]. And 11 studies were performed in Turkey [7,8,10–13,15,17–19,23], 3 in China [20,21,24], 2 in Korea [9,23], 1 in the Czech Republic [14], and 1 in Iran [16]. Details about NOS assessment and PRISMA are in Supplementary S1 and Supplementary S2. The characteristics of the eligible studies are shown in Tables 1 and 2.

Flow diagram for literature selection

Figure 1
Flow diagram for literature selection
Figure 1
Flow diagram for literature selection
Table 1
Main characteristics of eligible studies
First author (location, year) Group Subjects (NAge (years) Male/Female NOS 
Durmus (Turkey, 2016) [8Case 140 47.65 ± 16.14 88/52 
 Control 132 44.42 ± 16.22 32/100  
Mirvakili (Iran, 2016) [16Case 108 45.15 ± 14.42 61/47 
 Control 108 43.15 ± 11.54 61/47  
Ozturk (Turkey, 2014) [12Case 39 39.1 ± 12.8 23/16 
 Control 40 38.9 ± 11.2 19/21  
Ulu (Turkey, 2013) [7Case 40 44.6 ± 16.4 20/20 
 Control 40 46.8 ± 9.5 23/17  
Sagit (Turkey, 2012) [17Case 31 37.45 ± 15.70 17/14 
 Control 31 35.77 ± 14.93 16/15  
Lee (Korea, 2017) [9Case 46 14.70 ± 2.81 26/20 
 Control 46 15.20 ± 2.28 30/16  
Kum (Turkey, 2015) [13Case 59 46.10 ± 11.91 38/21 
 Control 59 42.84 ± 11.85 31/28  
Sun (China, 2017) [24Case 129 43.77 ± 14.44 68/61 
 Control 31 51.06 ± 10.01 16/15  
Ezerarslan (Turkey, 2016) [18Case 62 51 ± 19 26/36 
 Control 49 49 ± 16.2 16/33  
Karli (Turkey, 2013) [10Case 46 45.39 ± 15.70 25/21 
 Control 46 41.38 ± 16.70 24/22  
Koçak (Turkey, 2016) [11Case 93 32.3 ± 7.9 41/52 
 Control 93 31.4 ± 8.1 46/47  
Bláha (Czech Republic, 2014) [14Case 54 54.2 ± 14.9 32/22 
 Control 38 32.6 ± 7.4 19/19  
Bulğurcu (Turkey, 2017) [23Case 21 13.7 ± 3.2 13/8 
 Control 24 14.8 ± 2.9 12/12  
İkincioğullar (Turkey, 2014) [19Case 102 48.94 ± 13.86 54/48 
 Control 119 47 ± 9.63 65/54  
Koçak (Turkey, 2017) [15Case 45 31.1 ± 7.4 25/20 
 Control 47 32.4 ± 8.1 19/28  
Seo (Korea, 2014) [22Case 348 48.19 ± 15.22 171/177 
 Control 537 48.22 ± 11.6 288/249  
Bao (China, 2015) [21Case 424 44.22 ± 14.92 216/208 
 Control 244 42.35 ± 14.71 132/112  
Lu (China, 2008) [20Case 50 14–69* 32/18 
 Control 50 14–69* 32/18  
First author (location, year) Group Subjects (NAge (years) Male/Female NOS 
Durmus (Turkey, 2016) [8Case 140 47.65 ± 16.14 88/52 
 Control 132 44.42 ± 16.22 32/100  
Mirvakili (Iran, 2016) [16Case 108 45.15 ± 14.42 61/47 
 Control 108 43.15 ± 11.54 61/47  
Ozturk (Turkey, 2014) [12Case 39 39.1 ± 12.8 23/16 
 Control 40 38.9 ± 11.2 19/21  
Ulu (Turkey, 2013) [7Case 40 44.6 ± 16.4 20/20 
 Control 40 46.8 ± 9.5 23/17  
Sagit (Turkey, 2012) [17Case 31 37.45 ± 15.70 17/14 
 Control 31 35.77 ± 14.93 16/15  
Lee (Korea, 2017) [9Case 46 14.70 ± 2.81 26/20 
 Control 46 15.20 ± 2.28 30/16  
Kum (Turkey, 2015) [13Case 59 46.10 ± 11.91 38/21 
 Control 59 42.84 ± 11.85 31/28  
Sun (China, 2017) [24Case 129 43.77 ± 14.44 68/61 
 Control 31 51.06 ± 10.01 16/15  
Ezerarslan (Turkey, 2016) [18Case 62 51 ± 19 26/36 
 Control 49 49 ± 16.2 16/33  
Karli (Turkey, 2013) [10Case 46 45.39 ± 15.70 25/21 
 Control 46 41.38 ± 16.70 24/22  
Koçak (Turkey, 2016) [11Case 93 32.3 ± 7.9 41/52 
 Control 93 31.4 ± 8.1 46/47  
Bláha (Czech Republic, 2014) [14Case 54 54.2 ± 14.9 32/22 
 Control 38 32.6 ± 7.4 19/19  
Bulğurcu (Turkey, 2017) [23Case 21 13.7 ± 3.2 13/8 
 Control 24 14.8 ± 2.9 12/12  
İkincioğullar (Turkey, 2014) [19Case 102 48.94 ± 13.86 54/48 
 Control 119 47 ± 9.63 65/54  
Koçak (Turkey, 2017) [15Case 45 31.1 ± 7.4 25/20 
 Control 47 32.4 ± 8.1 19/28  
Seo (Korea, 2014) [22Case 348 48.19 ± 15.22 171/177 
 Control 537 48.22 ± 11.6 288/249  
Bao (China, 2015) [21Case 424 44.22 ± 14.92 216/208 
 Control 244 42.35 ± 14.71 132/112  
Lu (China, 2008) [20Case 50 14–69* 32/18 
 Control 50 14–69* 32/18  
*

Range.

Table 2
Main characteristics of eligible studies
Study MPV (fl) PDW (fl) PLT (103/μl) 
 Case Control P Case Control P Case Control P 
Durrmus 8.98 ± 1.73 9.12 ± 0.84 17.39 ± 6.27 10.06 ± 1.99 228.33 ± 65.21 258.59 ± 50.63 
Mirvakili 10.02 ± 0.76 9.85 ± 0.67 12.45 ± 1.50 12.11 ± 1.24 228.51 ± 62.45 222.86 ± 36.80 
Ozturk 8.19 ± 1.07 8.01 ± 1.05 17.7 ± 0.89 17.6 ± 1.04 257 ± 57 268 ± 63 
Ulu 10.5 ± 0.9 9.6 ± 0.5 13.4 ± 2.1 11.1 ± 1.0 232.9 ± 59.8 276.5 ± 62.1 
Sagit 9.01 ± 1.24 8.21 ± 0.76 16.29 ± 1.10 14.65 ± 2.13 258.03 ± 58.28 249.06 ± 61.96 
Lee 7.89 ± 0.92 8.27 ± 0.74    287.52 ± 59.36 286.22 ± 55.99 
Kum 9.83 ± 1.50 9.98 ± 0.07    249.44 ± 48.16 244.86 ± 47.25 
Sun 10.47 ± 1.43 9.75 ± 1.66    217.46 ± 53.67 202.48 ± 46. 61 
Ezerarslan 8.1 ± 1.2 8.4 ± 1.2    234 ± 53.5 236 ± 39 
Karli 8.25 ± 0.86 7.98 ± 0.87    243 ± 81.5 275 ± 82.5 
Koçak1 8.2 ± 2.2 8.7 ± 1.3       
Bláha 10.68 ± 1.1 10.47 ± 0.8       
Bulğurcu       247.12 ± 53.23 262.11 ± 41.18 
İkincioğullar       263.27 ± 64.11 259.32 ± 64.80 
Koçak2       257 ± 61 257 ± 47 
Seo       252.40 ± 60.07 238.64 ± 49.98 
Bao       240.47 ± 41.75 229.51 ± 48.88 
Lu       210.72 ± 49.40 205.52 ± 47.78 
Study MPV (fl) PDW (fl) PLT (103/μl) 
 Case Control P Case Control P Case Control P 
Durrmus 8.98 ± 1.73 9.12 ± 0.84 17.39 ± 6.27 10.06 ± 1.99 228.33 ± 65.21 258.59 ± 50.63 
Mirvakili 10.02 ± 0.76 9.85 ± 0.67 12.45 ± 1.50 12.11 ± 1.24 228.51 ± 62.45 222.86 ± 36.80 
Ozturk 8.19 ± 1.07 8.01 ± 1.05 17.7 ± 0.89 17.6 ± 1.04 257 ± 57 268 ± 63 
Ulu 10.5 ± 0.9 9.6 ± 0.5 13.4 ± 2.1 11.1 ± 1.0 232.9 ± 59.8 276.5 ± 62.1 
Sagit 9.01 ± 1.24 8.21 ± 0.76 16.29 ± 1.10 14.65 ± 2.13 258.03 ± 58.28 249.06 ± 61.96 
Lee 7.89 ± 0.92 8.27 ± 0.74    287.52 ± 59.36 286.22 ± 55.99 
Kum 9.83 ± 1.50 9.98 ± 0.07    249.44 ± 48.16 244.86 ± 47.25 
Sun 10.47 ± 1.43 9.75 ± 1.66    217.46 ± 53.67 202.48 ± 46. 61 
Ezerarslan 8.1 ± 1.2 8.4 ± 1.2    234 ± 53.5 236 ± 39 
Karli 8.25 ± 0.86 7.98 ± 0.87    243 ± 81.5 275 ± 82.5 
Koçak1 8.2 ± 2.2 8.7 ± 1.3       
Bláha 10.68 ± 1.1 10.47 ± 0.8       
Bulğurcu       247.12 ± 53.23 262.11 ± 41.18 
İkincioğullar       263.27 ± 64.11 259.32 ± 64.80 
Koçak2       257 ± 61 257 ± 47 
Seo       252.40 ± 60.07 238.64 ± 49.98 
Bao       240.47 ± 41.75 229.51 ± 48.88 
Lu       210.72 ± 49.40 205.52 ± 47.78 

Koçak1, (Turkey, 2016); Koçak2, (Turkey, 2017). #P<0.05, &P≥0.05.

Meta-analysis

Differences of MPV between SSHL patients and controls

There were 12 studies reporting the association between MPV level and SSHL compared with control groups (Figure 2). An I2 test indicated that the heterogeneity was significant (I2 = 80%, P<0.00001), therefore, a random-effects model was applied to perform the meta-analysis. The results showed that MPV level in the SSHL group was not different from that in the control group [SMD (95% CI) = 0.16 (−0.07, 0.40)]. The weights were evenly distributed, and sensitive analysis showed that re-synthesized result was similar to previous one after fixed-effects model conducted [SMD (95% CI) = 0.09 (−0.02, 0.19)], which suggested the result is reliable. In addition, Egger’s test (P=0.097) and Begg’s test (P=0.193) showed that there was no publication bias (Figure 3). Subgroup analysis (Table 3) by geographical area demonstrated that there were no significant difference both in Eastern countries [SMD (95% CI) = 0.05(−0.93,1.02)] and Western countries [SMD (95% CI) = 0.18 (−0.07,0.43)], and the similar results appeared in sample size ≥100 [SMD (95% CI) = 0.20 (−0.15, 0.54)] and <100 [SMD (95% CI) = 0.15 (−0.17,0.48)], NOS ≥7 [SMD (95% CI) = 0.16 (−0.12, 0.44)] and <7 [SMD (95% CI) = 0.19 (−0.11,0.49)], and EDTA with mentioned [SMD (95% CI) = 0.42 (−0.00, 0.85)] and no-mentioned [SMD (95% CI) = −0.02 (−0.28, 0.24)]. Result of sensitive analysis showed there did not appear significant change [SMD (95% CI) = 0.09 (−0.02, 0.19)].

Difference of MPV between SSHL patients and controls

Figure 2
Difference of MPV between SSHL patients and controls
Figure 2
Difference of MPV between SSHL patients and controls

Begg’s test (A) and Egger’s test (B) for publication bias assessment of MPV.

Figure 3
Begg’s test (A) and Egger’s test (B) for publication bias assessment of MPV.
Figure 3
Begg’s test (A) and Egger’s test (B) for publication bias assessment of MPV.
Table 3
Summary effects of subgroup analysis results
Subgroup N# SMD (95% CI) P-value Heterogeneity 
    P-value I2 (%) 
MPV 837/713 0.16 (–0.07, 0.40) =0.18 <0.00001 80 
Geographical area      
  Eastern country 165/77 0.05 (–0.93,1.02) =0.93 =0.0007 91 
  Western country 672/636 0.18 (–0.07, 0.43) =0.15 <0.00001 80 
Sample size of patients      
  Size ≥100 367/271 0.20 (–0.15, 0.54) =0.26 =0.02 76 
  Size <100 470/442 0.15 (–0.17,0.48) =0.35 <0.00001 83 
EDTA      
  Mentioned 358/351 0.42 (–0.00, 0.85) =0.05 <0.0001 86 
  No-mentioned 479/362 –0.02 (–0.28, 0.24) =0.90 =0.003 70 
NOS      
  ≥7 744/635 0.16 (–0.12, 0.44) =0.25 <0.0001 84 
  <7 93/78 0.19 (–0.11, 0.49) =0.22 =0.89 
PLT 1690/1603 –0.03 (–0.18, 0.12) =0.72 <0.00001 73 
Geographical area      
  Eastern country 997/908 0.23 (0.14, 0.33) <0.00001 =0.81 
  Western country 693/695 –0.15 (–0.33,0.03) =0.11 =0.003 62 
Sample size of patients      
  Size ≥100 1251/1171 0.07(–0.16, 0.30) =0.54 <0.00001 85 
  Size <100 439/432 –0.11(–0.27, 0.06) =0.20 =0.15 32 
EDTA      
  Mentioned 853/669 –0.12(–0.40, 0.15) =0.38 <0.00001 82 
  No-mentioned 837/934 0.08(–0.06, 0.22) =0.27 =0.12 38 
NOS      
  ≥7 1177/1269 –0.06(–0.24, 0.12) =0.52 <0.00001 75 
  <7 513/334 0.13(–0.10, 0.36) =0.28 =0.19 41 
Subgroup N# SMD (95% CI) P-value Heterogeneity 
    P-value I2 (%) 
MPV 837/713 0.16 (–0.07, 0.40) =0.18 <0.00001 80 
Geographical area      
  Eastern country 165/77 0.05 (–0.93,1.02) =0.93 =0.0007 91 
  Western country 672/636 0.18 (–0.07, 0.43) =0.15 <0.00001 80 
Sample size of patients      
  Size ≥100 367/271 0.20 (–0.15, 0.54) =0.26 =0.02 76 
  Size <100 470/442 0.15 (–0.17,0.48) =0.35 <0.00001 83 
EDTA      
  Mentioned 358/351 0.42 (–0.00, 0.85) =0.05 <0.0001 86 
  No-mentioned 479/362 –0.02 (–0.28, 0.24) =0.90 =0.003 70 
NOS      
  ≥7 744/635 0.16 (–0.12, 0.44) =0.25 <0.0001 84 
  <7 93/78 0.19 (–0.11, 0.49) =0.22 =0.89 
PLT 1690/1603 –0.03 (–0.18, 0.12) =0.72 <0.00001 73 
Geographical area      
  Eastern country 997/908 0.23 (0.14, 0.33) <0.00001 =0.81 
  Western country 693/695 –0.15 (–0.33,0.03) =0.11 =0.003 62 
Sample size of patients      
  Size ≥100 1251/1171 0.07(–0.16, 0.30) =0.54 <0.00001 85 
  Size <100 439/432 –0.11(–0.27, 0.06) =0.20 =0.15 32 
EDTA      
  Mentioned 853/669 –0.12(–0.40, 0.15) =0.38 <0.00001 82 
  No-mentioned 837/934 0.08(–0.06, 0.22) =0.27 =0.12 38 
NOS      
  ≥7 1177/1269 –0.06(–0.24, 0.12) =0.52 <0.00001 75 
  <7 513/334 0.13(–0.10, 0.36) =0.28 =0.19 41 

N#, case/control.

Difference of PDW between SSHL patients and controls

There were five studies reporting the association between PDW level and SSHL compared with control groups (Figure 4). An I2 test indicated that the heterogeneity was significant (P<0.00001, I2 = 93%); therefore, a random-effects model was applied to perform the meta-analysis. The results showed that there was statistical significance in the comparison of SSHL and control group [SMD (95% CI) = 0.85 (0.20, 1.49)]. The weights were evenly distributed, and sensitive analysis showed that re-synthesized result did not change obviously after fixed-effects model conducted [SMD (95% CI) = 0.85 (0.69, 1.00)], which suggested it is reliable. Likewise, there was no significant publication bias according to Egger’s test (P=0.993) and Begg’s test (P=0.806) (Figure 5). With insufficient data, we did not conduct subgroup analysis.

Differences of PDW between SSHL patients and controls

Figure 4
Differences of PDW between SSHL patients and controls
Figure 4
Differences of PDW between SSHL patients and controls

Begg’s test (A) and Egger’s test (B) for publication bias assessment of PDW.

Figure 5
Begg’s test (A) and Egger’s test (B) for publication bias assessment of PDW.
Figure 5
Begg’s test (A) and Egger’s test (B) for publication bias assessment of PDW.

Difference of PLT between SSHL patients and controls

There were 15 studies reporting the association between PLT level and SSHL compared with control groups (Figure 6). An I2 test indicated that the heterogeneity was significant (P<0.00001, I2 = 73%); therefore, a random-effects model was applied to perform the meta-analysis. The results showed that there was no statistical significance in the comparison of SSHL and control group [SMD (95% CI) = −0.03 (−0.18, 0.12)]. Likewise, sensitive analysis with fixed-model [SMD (95% CI) = 0.07 (−0.00 0.14)] showed our result was reliable. Although there was publication bias according to Egger’s test (P=0.037) and Begg’s test (P=0.043) (Figure 7), the trim and fill test suggested it did not have an impact on our result (Figure 8). Similar to MPV, subgroup analysis (Table 3) showed that there were no significant difference in sample size ≥100 [SMD (95% CI) = 0.07 (−0.16,0.30)] and <100 [SMD (95% CI) = −0.11 (−0.27, 0.06)], NOS ≥7 [SMD (95% CI) = −0.06 (−0.24,0.12)] and <7 [SMD (95% CI) = 0.13 (−0.10,0.36)], and EDTA with mentioned [SMD (95% CI) = −0.12 (−0.40,0.15)] and no-mentioned [SMD (95% CI) = 0.08 (−0.06,0.22)]. But in respect of geographical area, there was significant result in Eastern country [SMD (95% CI) = 0.23 (0.14, 0.33)], but not in Western country [SMD (95% CI) = −0.15 (−0.33, 0.03)].

Differences of PLT between SSHL patients and controls

Figure 6
Differences of PLT between SSHL patients and controls
Figure 6
Differences of PLT between SSHL patients and controls

Begg’s test (A) and Egger’s test (B) for publication bias assessment of PLT.

Figure 7
Begg’s test (A) and Egger’s test (B) for publication bias assessment of PLT.
Figure 7
Begg’s test (A) and Egger’s test (B) for publication bias assessment of PLT.

Filled funnel plot for publication bias assessment of PLT

Figure 8
Filled funnel plot for publication bias assessment of PLT
Figure 8
Filled funnel plot for publication bias assessment of PLT

Discussion

Although platelet parameters, such as MPV, PDW, and PLT, have exhibited diagnostic significance in various diseases and conditions [25,26], it is unclear that whether there exists clinic significance of them in SSHL. This study is the first meta-analysis of published studies to explore the relationship between platelet parameters and SSHL. Our results did not support there was relationship between MPV and SSHL, but PLT may be applied to clinical practice of Eastern country SSHL patients.

SSHL is a clinical condition characterized by the acute onset of unilateral or bilateral hearing loss greater than 30 dB over three consecutive frequencies in less than 72 h. Different theories about the pathogenesis of SSHL have been proposed, including vascular incidents, vascular occlusions, viral, bacterial, and protozoan infections, intracochlear membrane rupture, autoimmune disorders, and side effects from ototoxic medications [27]. There are a series of studies that prove that the disturbance of blood circulation plays a large role in SSHL [28]. As the cochlear artery is a terminal branch of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery, with a small inner diameter and insignificant collateral circulation, any pathology in this location that influences collateral blood supply may damage the cochlea and cause acute hearing loss [10].

Platelets are the smallest cells of the peripheral blood, and they are involved in hemostasis and the formation of thrombosis in blood vessels. Mediators and substances released by platelets play a significant role in the progress of coagulation, inflammation, thrombosis, and atherosclerosis. MPV is a commonly used parameter to indicate the volume, function, and activity of platelets. It has been proven that MPV levels increase in vascular events such as atherosclerosis, acute syndromes, venous and arterial thrombosis, or thromboembolism [29]. The increased MPV contributes to the prethrombotic state in acute syndromes. PLT and PDW are other important platelet parameters. PLT refers to the number of platelets in per unit volume of blood. PDW reflects the variation in size of platelets in a blood sample.

In recent years, a series of studies concerning the relationship between platelet parameters and the occurrence and severity of SSHL have been performed, but there was no consistent conclusion. Ulu et al. [7] and Durmus et al. [8] observed significantly higher MPV, PDW, and PLT in SSHL patients than controls and concluded that they could be taken into consideration as potential novel markers in the assessment of SSHL. By contrast, Lee et al. [9] reported the relationship between MPV and SSHL in children and found MPV was significantly decreased in the SSHL group, which might reflect that the mechanisms of pediatric SSHL are different from those of adults. We did not further analyze the differences between children and adults due to the limitation of fewer studies about the former. Furthermore, other studies (10–16) have shown no statistical correlation between platelet parameters and SSHL. It is unusual to find that there seems to be a paradox, which limits our interpretation of these experimental results.

MPV, PDW, and PLT are susceptible to many vascular risk factors including age, smoking, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and obesity [30]. It is advisable for researchers to rule out patients with active inflammations, suspicion of an autoimmune inner ear disease, known etiology of SSHL, history of otologic surgery or head and neck trauma, previously diagnosed cardiovascular disease, chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity, antiaggregant or anticoagulant drug use, chronic alcohol consumption, and smoking. These factors may influence the outcome of MPV, PDW, and PLT assessments. Although there are a number of exclusion criteria in the studies to standardize the results, MPV, PDW, and PLT may still be affected by many other minor factors, such as nasal septum deviations, major depression, insulin resistance, and erectile dysfunction [17,31–33], which were not taken into consideration and thus not excluded. Our aim with the exclusion criteria was to show the possible correlation with SSHL and platelet parameters but, in daily practice, comorbidities are frequently observed in patients with SSHL. It is impossible for us to adjust for all the variables between SSHL and control groups.

In the methods section, in order to measure MPV, venous blood samples were collected into tubes containing EDTA. However, in an earlier study, Bath et al. [34] found that measurements in EDTA can be unreliable since MPV increases significantly in a time-dependent manner. One can readily measure MPV by clinical hematology analyzers using sodium citrate as the anticoagulant. Therefore, we performed a pooled analysis about EDTA, although only five studies [7,8,12,16,21] reported measuring MPV with EDTA. The analysis showed that the results did not change [SMD (95% CI) = -0.12(-0.40, 0.15)], which suggested that EDTA did not influence final results.

In respect of MPV in SSHL, pooled results did not support there exit the association, but quality of included studies may be main resource of heterogeneity. Although we discover PDW exhibit difference between SSHL group and control group, there was no enough data to explore resources of heterogeneity, in addition to considering small studies included, we could not reach a conclusion impetuously. A total of 16 studies included to study the relationship between PLT and SSHL, our result also did not uphold the relationship completely. However, subgroup analysis by geographical area showed that there was significant difference in Eastern country, while other subgroups not, which suggested geographical area may be the source of heterogeneity. Sensitive analysis revealed that our results were stable. And there was no publication bias, if any, it did not impact our results. All of them demonstrated our results were reliable.

There were several limitations exiting in this analysis need to be carefully considered. First, all the including researches were case–control studies, and we could not ensure other factors matched completely. Second, in terms of PDW, too few articles included to find the source of heterogeneity, so we could not reach a conclusion. Third, although we have implemented full subgroups analysis, we failed to discover the other sources heterogeneity about MPV and PLT. Finally, with insufficient data, we did not explore the threshold.

In summary, we concluded that MPV failed to apply to diagnosis and monitor of SSHL, while PLT might be a positive factor for SSHL in Eastern country. The clinical significance of PDW for SSHL is remaining to be confirmed with more well-designed and large-scale studies.

Our deepest gratitude goes first and foremost to Professor X.C. Wang for his constant encouragement and guidance. X.M. Chen wishes to express sincere thanks to Jason Zhang, whose songs and concert tours have instilled endless spiritual support to him over the past eleven years, especially every time when he was defeated and wanted to give up.

Funding

This work was supported by Key Researcher and Development Plan in Shaanxi [grant number 2018SF-252 (to X.C.W.)].

Author contribution

S.F.Ji and X.M.Chen conceived and designed the methods, extracted the original data, and drafted the manuscript. S.F.Ji, H.Shi, and S.Yao performed statistical analysis. X.M.Chen, B.B.Zhang., and S.L.Deng interpreted results. C.L.Tian, J.Jiang, F.Chen, and X.C.Wang revised the manuscript. S.Yao, X.M.Chen, and X.C.Wang had full access to all data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of data analysis.

Competing interests

The authors declare that there are no competing interests associated with the manuscript.

Abbreviations

     
  • CI

    confidence interval

  •  
  • MPV

    mean platelet volume

  •  
  • NOS

    Newcastle-Ottawa Scale

  •  
  • PLT

    platelet count

  •  
  • PDW

    platelet distribution width

  •  
  • PRISMA

    Preferred Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis

  •  
  • SMD

    standard mean difference

  •  
  • SSHL

    sudden sensorineural hearing loss

  •  
  • EDTA

    ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid

References

References
1
Murphy-Lavoie
H.M.
and
Mutluoglu
M.
(
2018
)
Hyperbaric, Sensorineural Hearing Loss
,
StatPearls
,
Treasure Island (FL)
2
Prenzler
N.K.
,
Schwab
B.
,
Kaplan
D.M.
and
El-Saied
S.
(
2018
)
The role of explorative tympanotomy in patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss with and without perilymphatic fistula
.
Am. J. Otolaryngol.
39
,
46
49
[PubMed]
3
Chang
I.J.
,
Kang
C.J.
,
Yueh
C.Y.
,
Fang
K.H.
,
Yeh
R.M.
and
Tsai
Y.T.
(
2015
)
The relationship between serum lipids and sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis
.
PLoS ONE
10
,
e0121025
[PubMed]
4
Chau
J.K.
,
Lin
J.R.
,
Atashband
S.
,
Irvine
R.A.
and
Westerberg
B.D.
(
2010
)
Systematic review of the evidence for the etiology of adult sudden sensorineural hearing loss
.
Laryngoscope
120
,
2347
[PubMed]
5
Kuhn
M.
,
Heman-Ackah
S.E.
,
Shaikh
J.A.
and
Roehm
P.C.
(
2011
)
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a review of diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis
.
Trends Amplif.
15
,
91
105
[PubMed]
6
Stew
B.T.
,
Fishpool
S.J.
and
Williams
H.
(
2012
)
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss
.
Br. J. Hosp. Med. (Lond.)
73
,
86
89
[PubMed]
7
Ulu
S.
,
Ulu
M.S.
,
Ahsen
A.
,
Yucedag
F.
,
Aycicek
A.
and
Celik
S.
(
2013
)
Increased levels of mean platelet volume: a possible relationship with idiopathic sudden hearing loss
.
Eur. Arch. Otorhinolaryngol.
270
,
2875
2878
[PubMed]
8
Durmus
K.
,
Terzi
H.
,
Karatas
T.D.
,
Dogan
M.
,
Uysal
I.O.
,
Sencan
M.
et al (
2016
)
Assessment of hematological factors involved in development and prognosis of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss
.
J. Craniofac. Surg.
27
,
e85
e91
[PubMed]
9
Lee
J.S.
,
Hong
S.K.
,
Kim
D.H.
,
Lee
J.H.
,
Lee
H.J.
,
Park
B.
et al (
2017
)
The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio in children with sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a retrospective study
.
Acta Otolaryngol.
137
,
35
38
[PubMed]
10
Karli
R.
,
Alacam
H.
,
Unal
R.
,
Kucuk
H.
,
Aksoy
A.
and
Ayhan
E.
(
2013
)
Mean platelet volume: is it a predictive parameter in the diagnosis of sudden sensorineural hearing loss?
Indian J. Otolaryngol. Head Neck Surg.
65
,
350
353
[PubMed]
11
Koçak
H.E.
,
Payam
H.A.
,
Keskin
M.
,
Koç
A.K.
,
Yigider
A.P.
and
FT
K.
(
2016
)
Is mean platelet volume a predictive marker for sudden sensorineural hearing loss
.
ENT Updates
6
,
145
147
12
Ozturk
M.
,
Kara
A.
,
Dasli
S.
and
Topdag
M.
(
2014
)
Mean platelet volume: is it a parameter associated with idiopathic sensorineural hearing loss?
Eur. Arch. Otorhinolaryngol.
271
,
2595
2596
[PubMed]
13
Kum
R.O.
,
Ozcan
M.
,
Baklaci
D.
,
Yurtsever Kum
N.
,
Yilmaz
Y.F.
,
Unal
A.
et al (
2015
)
Investigation of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and mean platelet volume in sudden hearing loss
.
Braz. J. Otorhinolaryngol.
81
,
636
641
[PubMed]
14
Blaha
M.
,
Kostal
M.
,
Drsata
J.
,
Chrobok
V.
,
Lanska
M.
and
Zak
P.
(
2015
)
Does mean platelet volume really increase in sudden sensorial hearing loss?
Eur. Arch. Otorhinolaryngol.
272
,
2575
2578
[PubMed]
15
Koçak
H.E.
,
Elbistanlı
M.S.
,
Acıpayam
H.
,
Alakras
W.M.E.
,
Kıral
M.N.
and
Kayhan
F.T.
(
2017
)
Are neutrophil/lymphocyte and platelet/lymphocyte ratios related with formation of sudden hearing loss and its prognosis?
Eur. Ann. Otorhinolaryngol. Head Neck Dis.
134
,
383
386
[PubMed]
16
Mirvakili
A.
,
Dadgarnia
M.H.
,
Baradaranfar
M.H.
,
Atighechi
S.
,
Zand
V.
and
Ansari
A.
(
2016
)
Role of platelet parameters on sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a case-control study in Iran
.
PLoS ONE
11
,
e0148149
[PubMed]
17
Sagit
M.
,
Korkmaz
F.
,
Kavugudurmaz
M.
and
Somdas
M.A.
(
2012
)
Impact of septoplasty on mean platelet volume levels in patients with marked nasal septal deviation
.
J. Craniofac. Surg.
23
,
1938
18
Ezerarslan
HBM.
(
2016
)
Hematologic parameters in geriatric patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss
.
Turkish J. Geriatrics
19
,
35
41
19
İkincioğulları
A.K.S.
,
Kılıç
M.
,
Atan
D.
,
Özcan
K.M.
,
Çetin
M.A.
,
Ensari
S.
et al. (
2014
)
New Inflammation parameters in sudden sensorineural hearing loss: neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio
.
Int. Adv. Otol.
10
,
197
200
20
Lu
L.
,
hong
Z.
,
Yu
Y.
,
Du
X.
,
Gu
P.
,
Wu
J.
et al (
2008
)
Relationship between fibrinogen level and pathogenesis of sudden sensorineural hearing loss
.
Lin Chung Er Bi Yan Hou Tou Jing Wai Ke Za Zhi
22
,
8
9
,
13
[PubMed]
21
Bao
F.
,
Zhang
S.
,
Zhang
Y.
,
Zhu
X.
and
Liu
W.
(
2015
)
The correlation analysis of coagulation detection and blood routine parameters of sudden hearing loss
.
Lin Chung Er Bi Yan Hou Tou Jing Wai Ke Za Zhi
29
,
52
56
[PubMed]
22
Seo
Y.J.
,
Jeong
J.H.
,
Choi
J.Y.
and
Moon
I.S.
(
2014
)
Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio: novel markers for diagnosis and prognosis in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss
.
Dis. Markers
2014
,
702807
[PubMed]
23
Bulgurcu
S.
,
Dikilitas
B.
,
Arslan
I.B.
and
Cukurova
I.
(
2017
)
Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratios in pediatric patients with idiopathic sudden hearing loss
.
J. Int. Adv. Otol.
13
,
217
220
[PubMed]
24
Sun
Y.
,
Guo
Y.
,
Wang
H.
,
Chen
Z.
,
Wu
Y.
,
Shi
H.
et al (
2017
)
Differences in platelet-related parameters among patients with audiographically distinct sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a retrospective study
.
Medicine (Baltimore)
96
,
e7877
[PubMed]
25
Zhang
X.
and
Ran
Y.
(
2015
)
Prognostic role of elevated platelet count in patients with lung cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis
.
Int. J. Clin. Exp. Med.
8
,
5379
5387
[PubMed]
26
Pyo
J.S.
,
Sohn
J.H.
and
Kang
G.
(
2016
)
Diagnostic and prognostic roles of the mean platelet volume in malignant tumors: a systematic review and meta-analysis
.
Platelets
27
,
722
728
[PubMed]
27
Hughes
G.B.
,
Freedman
M.A.
,
Haberkamp
T.J.
and
Guay
M.E.
(
1996
)
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss
.
Otolaryngol. Clin. North Am.
29
,
393
405
[PubMed]
28
Mosnier
I.
,
Stepanian
A.
,
Baron
G.
,
Bodenez
C.
,
Robier
A.
,
Meyer
B.
et al (
2011
)
Cardiovascular and thromboembolic risk factors in idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a case-control study
.
Audiol. Neurootol.
16
,
55
66
[PubMed]
29
Braekkan
S.K.
,
Mathiesen
E.B.
,
Njolstad
I.
,
Wilsgaard
T.
,
Stormer
J.
and
Hansen
J.B.
(
2010
)
Mean platelet volume is a risk factor for venous thromboembolism: the Tromso Study, Tromso, Norway
.
J. Thromb. Haemost.
8
,
157
162
[PubMed]
30
Gasparyan
A.Y.
,
Ayvazyan
L.
,
Mikhailidis
D.P.
and
Kitas
G.D.
(
2011
)
Mean platelet volume: a link between thrombosis and inflammation?
Curr. Pharm. Des.
17
,
47
58
[PubMed]
31
Ciftci
H.
,
Gumus
K.
,
Yagmur
I.
,
Sahabettin
S.
,
Celik
H.
,
Yeni
E.
et al (
2015
)
Assessment of mean platelet volume in men with vasculogenic and nonvasculogenic erectile dysfunction
.
Int. J. Impot. Res.
27
,
38
40
[PubMed]
32
Varol
E.
,
Akcay
S.
,
Ozaydin
M.
,
Erdogan
D.
,
Dogan
A.
and
Altinbas
A.
(
2010
)
Mean platelet volume is associated with insulin resistance in non-obese, non-diabetic patients with coronary artery disease
.
J. Cardiol.
56
,
154
158
[PubMed]
33
Varol
E.
and
Akpinar
A.
(
2013
)
Relationship between mean platelet volume and major depression
.
J. Clin. Psychopharmacol.
33
,
723
[PubMed]
34
Bath
P.M.
(
1993
)
The routine measurement of platelet size using sodium citrate alone as the anticoagulant
.
Thromb. Haemost.
70
,
687
690
[PubMed]

Author notes

*

These authors have contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).

Supplementary data