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Neonatal Med > Volume 18(2); 2011 > Article
Journal of the Korean Society of Neonatology 2011;18(2):328-336.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5385/jksn.2011.18.2.328    Published online November 25, 2011.
Risk Factors for Hearing Loss in Very Low Birth Weight Infants: Results of Hearing Test in Infants <1,500 g.
Min Jung Sung, Young Mi Han, Kyung Hee Park, Il Woo Lee, Shin Yun Byun
1Department of Pediatrics, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Yangsan, Korea. byun410@hanmail.net
2Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Yangsan, Korea.
An association between very low birth weight infants(VLBWI) and hearing loss has long been recognized. Early identification and intervention for hearing loss benefits language and speech/cognitive development. We investigated the risk factors and clinical outcomes of hearing loss among VLBWI.
We analyzed the results of auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing of VLBWI. These infants were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital between December 2008 and February 2011. A follow-up was conducted subsequently.
ABR evaluations were performed on 65 infants, and 31 showed abnormal results (47.7%). Among the 31 infants, 10 were classified with moderate/severe/profound hearing loss (15.4%). The infants with abnormal ABR had a higher incidence of low birth weight, prolonged ventilator care, cumulative dose of furosemide, and the lowest PaO2 (P<0.05). Those with moderate/severe/profound hearing loss had a higher incidence of low Apgar scores at 5 minutes (odds ratio[OR],0.34; 95% confidence interval[CI],0.13-0.89), prolonged ventilator care (OR,1.06; 95% CI,1.01-1.12), and mild hearing loss compared to those without profound hearing loss. Follow-up evaluations on eight infants with ABR reveled improvements 5.6+/-3.9 months later. One infant, who had profound hearing loss in both ears, used a hearing aid.
Factors influencing hearing loss at the first VLBWI hearing screening test included lower Apgar scores at 5 min and prolonged use of a ventilator. Most VLBWI with hearing losses were expected to recover after several months of follow-up.
Key Words: Very low birth weight infants; Hearing loss; Auditory brainstem response


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