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Improvement of SLC29A3 spectrum disorder-related sensorineural hearing loss after initiation of IL-6 inhibitor
  1. Lauren M Gunderman1,
  2. Taher Valika2,
  3. Hallie Carol1 and
  4. Amer Khojah3
  1. 1Allergy and Immunology, Ann and Robert H Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  2. 2Otorhinolaryngology, Ann and Robert H Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  3. 3Pediatrics, Umm Al-Qura University College of Medicine, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amer Khojah; khojah.a{at}


Tocilizumab is reported to reduce systemic inflammation in individuals with SLC29A3 spectrum disorder, but its effect on hearing loss has not been described. The authors present a boy toddler with a history of prematurity, dysphagia, hypersplenism, hyperpigmentation, short height and hearing loss who was referred to the immunology clinic. He initially presented shortly after birth with abnormal hearing screens followed by positive urine test for cytomegalovirus. However, the infection was determined to be postnatally acquired and hearing loss most likely from genetic causes given a family history of hearing loss and consanguinity. A pathogenic variant in SLC29A3 was found on whole-exome sequencing and given concern for SLC29A3 spectrum disorder, steroids were started. Following concerns for development of side effects with chronic steroid use, he was switched to interleukin 6 inhibitor therapy. The patient’s inflammatory markers decreased on tocilizumab, and his sensorineural hearing loss was notable for improvement and stabilisation on therapy.

  • Paediatrics (drugs and medicines)
  • Congenital disorders
  • Biological agents
  • Drugs: musculoskeletal and joint diseases

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  • Contributors LMG: writing the report, planning the report and coordinating between all authors. TV: primary otolaryngologist, ordering and interpreting the audiogram and editing the report. HC: writing the abstract, making figures 1 and 2 and editing the report. AK: primary rheumatologist, ordering medication and labs, conceptualising report, obtaining the consent, supervising the work, editing the report.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.