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Int J Audiol. 2003 Dec;42(8):443-7.

A comparison of transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions and automated auditory brainstem responses for pre-discharge neonatal hearing screening.

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  • 1Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Hope Hospital, Salford, UK.


The aim of this study was to compare two hearing-screening methods in well newborn infants within the postnatal ward environment prior to discharge. Eighty-one newborn infants underwent one-step hearing screening by measurement of automated auditory brainstem responses (aABRs), using the ALGO-3 screener. These were compared with a further cohort of 81 neonates who underwent two-step screening using transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) followed by aABR. The pass rate was 78/81 (96.3%) for the one-step screen, 74/81 (91.4%) for the two-step screen, and 54/81 (66.7%) for TEOAE alone. There was no significant difference between cohorts in time required to complete the screening protocol. We conclude that pre-discharge hearing screening of newborn infants on the postnatal ward is feasible and acceptable. Use of TEOAE alone for pre-discharge screening is associated with an excessively high false-positive rate. At our institution, one-step screening resulted in a lower referral rate compared with a two-step approach. The performance of aABR screening may be affected by prior TEOAE screening.

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