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Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Oct;18(5):399-404. doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e32833d475d.

Universal newborn hearing screening in 2010.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-3039, USA.



The objectives of this review are to provide the reader with a current and concise review of the data and trends in universal newborn hearing screening. Within a relatively short period of time, the concept of screening all infants for hearing loss at the time of birth has evolved from a nascent process to a truly universal system in most developed countries. As a result, the focus and challenges of universal newborn hearing screening have shifted to topics of developing even more efficient and cost-effective approaches, and potentially melding physiologic hearing screenings with ancillary screening techniques.


Enhancement of the universal newborn hearing screening process is likely to be accomplished by implementation of novel tools such as wideband reflectance technologies and intelligent incorporation of screening for common genetic and viral causes of congenital hearing loss.


With such a rapidly evolving process, it will be critical for clinicians to understand the benefits and limitations of various newborn hearing screening methodologies in order to determine the most appropriate management of children referred from their universal newborn hearing screening. This will entail a working knowledge of emerging audiologic tools as well as infectious and genetic causes of pediatric hearing loss.

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