June 24, 2013

Bruce Jenner of the Kardashians with Hearing Loss Brain Tumor Scare

Image by jla0379 from Wikipedia
This past weekend, fans of the TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians found out that Bruce Jenner had what most likely was an asymmetric nerve hearing loss in his high frequencies when he had a hearing test done that lead to a brain tumor scare.

What this means is that his ability to hear was much worse in one ear compared with the other... and it was due to nerve damage rather than earwax or fluid in the ears.

Whenever there is this type of nerve hearing discrepancy between the right and left ears, there is concern for the possibility of a benign brain growth called an acoustic neuroma. As this tumor gets larger, it compresses the hearing nerve causing progressive hearing loss on just one side.

Whenever a significant difference in nerve hearing is found on a hearing test, an MRI scan of the internal auditory canal is performed to look for this or other related tumor. Statistically, there is only a 5-10% risk of an acoustic neuroma with the presence of an asymmetric nerve hearing loss.

Fortunately for Bruce Jenner, no tumor was found and hearing aid placement was pursued.

Now, is it absolutely necessary that an MRI be performed? No, though it is the BEST test to further evaluate.

Alternatively, one can perform serial hearing tests every 6-12 months to monitor for any progressive hearing loss... and if present, than pursue an MRI scan.

One can also get a specialized test called an auditory brainstem response (ABR) which measures how quickly a sound gets transmitted to the brain. If a tumor is present, the signal is delayed whereas if no tumor is compressing the hearing nerve, the signal reaches the brain at a normal speed.

Of course, if the ABR comes back abnormal, than an MRI scan would be recommended as the next step.

Read more about asymmetric hearing loss.

‘KUWTK’ Recap: Bruce Jenner Might Have A Brain Tumor. Charter 6/24/13


Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I may have misunderstood but this article implies that a normal ABR means that there is no tumor? If that is true, why would it be necessary to get a contrast MRI to check for the acoustic neuroma when a normal ABR result would suffice?

Banner Map

Pediatric Neck Masses

Adult Neck Mass Workup