Hearing Screening In Nicu Graduates

Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai, India
First Created: 01/16/2002 


NICU graduates are at a high risk for developing sensorineural hearing defects. Babies having following conditions are at higher risk and should be referred for hearing testing:

  • Family history of hereditary childhood hearing loss.

  • Birth weight of less than 1500 grams.

  • Intrauterine infection - cytomegalovirus, rubella, syphilis, herpes, toxoplasmosis etc.

  • Bacterial meningitis, encephalitis.

  • Hyperbilirubinemia (high enough to warrant exchange transfusion)

  • Craniofacial anomalies with malformations of the ear and abnormalities of palate & lips.

  • Ototoxic drugs (aminoglycosides, loop diuretics)

  • Mechanical ventilation required for 5 days or more.

  • Central nervous system insult- birth asphyxia, intracranial hemorrhage, neonatal seizures etc.

Infants at risk should have the screening alone prior to discharge. Some infants may require re-screening after a month, especially premature infants. Infants with bacterial meningitis, syndromes, and ototoxic medications require evaluation at least every 6 months till 3 years of age and at appropriate intervals later.

Screening Tests:

  • BERA: This is reliable only after 34 weeks of gestation.

  • EOAE (Evoked otoacoustic emission): It is less desirable as a primary screening test.

Hearing Screening in NICU Graduates Hearing Screening in NICU Graduates https://www.pediatriconcall.com/show_article/default.aspx?main_cat=neonatology&sub_cat=hearing-screening-in-nicu-graduates&url=hearing-screening-in-nicu-graduates-introduction 2002-01-16
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