The International Tinnitus Journal

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Research Article - The International Tinnitus Journal (2019) Volume 23, Issue 1

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

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.

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

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