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J Am Acad Audiol. 2004 Jun;15(6):414-25.

Newborn hearing screening with combined otoacoustic emissions and auditory brainstem responses.

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Department of Communicative Disorders, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32610-0174, USA.


Accurate assessment of neonatal hearing screening performance is impossible without knowledge of the true status of hearing, a prohibitive requirement that necessitates a complete diagnostic evaluation on all babies screened. The purpose of this study was to circumvent this limitation by integrating two types of screening measures obtained near simultaneously on every baby. Peripheral auditory function was defined by otoacoustic emission results. A complete diagnostic evaluation was performed on every baby who received a "Refer" outcome for auditory brainstem response screening. The integrated results for auditory brainstem response screening in an unselected group of 300 newborns estimated sensitivity at 100%, specificity at 99.7%, overall referral rate at 2.0%, and a positive predictive value of 83.3%. Conductive loss associated with amniotic fluid in the middle ear can persist several weeks after birth; conductive loss can produce a "Refer" outcome for auditory brainstem response screening; and auditory neuropathy can be detected with screening measures. Prevalence results were consistent with the published literature. The implications of this study are that otoacoustic emissions and auditory brainstem measures provide much more information than either alone and that both are needed for a comprehensive hearing screening program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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