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An Esp Pediatr. 2002 Aug;57(2):157-62.

[Hearing screening with evoked otoacoustic emission in the neonatal period are logistically and economically feasible].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

  • 1Unidad Neonatal. Servicio de Pediatría. Complejo Hospitalario Torrecárdenas. Almería. España.



To design, carry out and assess a protocol for the early diagnosis of hearing loss based on the detection of evoked otoacoustic emissions (EOAE) in the neonatal period.


Five hundred twenty-five infants without risk factors for hearing loss were studied. A hearing screening protocol with EOAE was applied in the first 48 hours of life, with a second test on the fifth day of life, coinciding with phenylketonuria screening if the first test was negative. The diagnostic stage took place when the infants were aged 1 month.


A total of 98.8 % of the program was completed. In the initial test, bilateral EOAE were obtained in 458 infants. When the EOAE were performed during the first 24 hours after birth, 72.5 % of newborns achieved a satisfactory result. This percentage rose to 93.6 %, 97.9 % and 94.7 % when the test was delayed until discharge on, respectively, the second, the fifth and subsequent days of age (p < 0.01). All the infants who did not achieve a satisfactory result in the first test underwent a second one. A total of 87.5 % of the newborns who had failed the test within the first 24 hours passed it when it was repeated at 48 hours, at the time of discharge. A third screening was necessary in seven infants (six on the fifth day of life and one, together with auditory brainstem response [ABR], on 30 days of age). One infant showed absence of EOAE in the left ear in the three tests, as well as a threshold above 70 dB to obtain the V wave in the ABR performed at 1 and 3 months of age and was diagnosed with unilateral moderate deafness, representing a prevalence of hearing loss of 1.9 % of live newborns in the general population in our environment.


Universal hearing screening with EOAE is logistically and economically feasible. The use of a second test on the fifth day of age decreases the number of false positives, thus reducing economic cost and family anxiety, and improves recruitment, since it coincides with metabolic screening.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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