The International Tinnitus Journal

The International Tinnitus Journal

Official Journal of the Neurootological and Equilibriometric Society
Official Journal of the Brazil Federal District Otorhinolaryngologist Society

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ISSN: 0946-5448

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Sensorineural Hearing Loss in Newborns Hospitalized in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: An Observational Study

Author(s): Arianna Di Stadio, Egisto Molini, Valeria Gambacorta,Giorgia Giommetti, Antonio della Volpe, Massimo Ralli, Ruggero Lapenna, Franco Trabalzini,Giampietro Ricci,

Children hospitalized in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) present an increased risk for Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL) due to prematurity, hypoxia-ischemia, hyperventilation, low birth weight and the use of ototoxic drugs. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of SNHL in newborns hospitalized in a NICU using Transient Evoked Otoacoustic Emissions (TEOAE) and Automated Auditory Brainstem Responses (A-ABR) and analyze the associated risk factors. A sample of 153 newborns hospitalized in NICU underwent TEOAE, A-ABR and clinical ABR to evaluate the presence of hearing deficits. Prevalence of SNHL was calculated and odds ratio for specific risk factors was measured. One-hundred fifteen babies (86.7%) presented normal hearing at TEOAE and A-ABR. Fifteen children had a REFER response at TEOAE and a PASS response at A-ABR. Twenty-five children (16.3%) had a REFER A-ABR and were addressed to clinical ABR. A diagnosis of SNHL was made in 12 (7.8%) newborns. An increased risk of SNHL was observed in preterm children <28 weeks (p=0.0135), in children with neurological disorders (p=0.02), that underwent surgery (p=0.0002), affected from premature retinopathy (p=0.0006), craniofacial malformation (p=0.007) and that had sepsis (p=0.04). Additional risk factors for SNHL in our sample were a maternal disease during pregnancy (p=0.0011), cesarean delivery (p<0.0001) and a twin pregnancy (p<0.0001). SNHL in newborns is correlated with hospitalization in NICU. An accurate hearing screening associated to a rigorous clinical medical collection of data is necessary to promptly identify cases of SNHL in children with a special attention to those hospitalized in NICU and plan proper intervention.

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