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February 11, 2003

Absent Transient Otoacoustic Emission In Newborns May Signal Hearing Loss

From: Doctor's Guide, NY - 11 Feb 2003

A DGReview of :"Identification of hearing loss in newborns by transient otoacoustic emissions."
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

By Veronica Rose

Absent uni- or bilateral transient otoacoustic emission in the newborn may signal hearing loss, necessitating further screening and audiological testing.

Two methods are currently available for this initial testing: the transient otoacoustic emission (TEOAE) and auditory brain stem response (ABR) screening. However, when newborns are screened by TEOAE, those with a neural hearing loss can be missed.

Consequently, researchers from the Pediatric Otolaryngology Department, Children's University Hospital, in the Slovak Republic, undertook a study of 3,048 neonates who underwent transient otoacoustic emission screening of both ears, regardless of any historical evidence of risk factors for hearing loss. Neonates who failed to pass TEOAE, either uni- or bilateral in the second screening, underwent further audiological testing.

One hundred and fifty (4.5%) newborns failed at the first screening, and 30 (0.98%) did not pass the second. A unilateral absent TEOAE was confirmed in nine newborns. Deafness was confirmed in two newborns, with one side cochlear and retrocochlear on the other side. Both received cochlear implants before their second birthday, say the researchers.

Among 21 newborns in whom bilateral absent transient otoacoustic emission was determined, there was moderate bilateral sensorineural hearing loss in five. Nine had profound hearing loss (90-100 dB) or confirmed deafness.

The researchers identified a risk of hearing loss in 1,355 of the 3,048 newborns in the study. Bilateral loss of hearing or deafness was confirmed in 12 (0.88%). Among the 1,663 neonates who had no historical hearing loss, deafness or bilateral sensorineural hearing loss within the range of 45-65 dB was confirmed in four by researchers.
International J of Paediatric Otorhonology January 2003;67:1:15-18. "Identification of hearing loss in newborns by transient otoacoustic emissions."

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