Hearing Screening in Extremely Premature Neonates
Introduction: The neonatal hearing screening enables early detection of hearing impairment and is commonly realized by transient evoked otoacoustic emissions because it is an objective, fast, and noninvasive test. The extremely premature neonates are more likely to have risk indicators for hearing loss, thus the early identification must be done to minimize the damage caused by this injury.
Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the performance of extremely premature neonates in the neonatal hearing screening.
Methods: Retrospective cross-sectional study in a tertiary referral center. Transient evoked otoacoustic emission in term, premature, and extremely premature neonates was performed from January to December of 2012.
Results: A total of 1,514 were included in the study and 1,239 of them born at term, 232 preterm, and 43 with extremely prematurity. The transient evoked otoacoustic emissions were normal in 75% of term infants and 78% of premature infants, whereas only 42% of extremely preterm infants had normal outcomes. All that failed in the first test were referred to retest.
Conclusion: Infants born at term or preterm infants, with gestational ages between 36 and 31 weeks, showed similar performance in the hearing evaluation; however, extremely premature infants who had gestational age below 30 weeks had significantly reduced performance.
Keywords: infant premature, neonatal screening, hearing, hearing loss.