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Acta Paediatr. 2006 Feb;95(2):214-23.

Ototoxic drugs and sensorineural hearing loss following severe neonatal respiratory failure.

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Neonatal and Infant Follow-up Clinic, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Capital Health, Edmonton, Alberta T5G 0B7, Canada.



To determine relationships between ototoxic drugs and 4-y sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) in near-term and term survivors of severe neonatal respiratory failure.


All 81 survivors of the Canadian arm of the Neonatal Inhaled Nitric Oxide Study (mortality 32, loss to follow-up 9) received loop diuretics, aminoglycosides, and neuromuscular blockers (NMB), and 50 received vancomycin as neonates. Prospective, longitudinal secondary outcome using audiological tests diagnosed late-onset, progressive SNHL in 43 (53%); not flat (sloping) in 29, flat (severe to profound) in 14. Risk for SNHL was determined.


A combination of duration of diuretic use of >14 d and average NMB dose of >0.96 mg/kg/d contributed to SNHL among survivors (odds ratio 5.2; 95% CI 1.6, 16.7). Markers of illness severity did not contribute. Dosage or duration of aminoglycosides use did not relate to SNHL. Cumulative dosages and duration of use of diuretics; NMB; use of vancomycin; and overlap of diuretics with NMB, aminoglycosides, and vancomycin individually linked to SNHL (p<0.001).


Overuse of loop diuretics and/or NMB contributes to SNHL after neonatal respiratory failure; markers of illness severity or the appropriate administration of aminoglycosides do not.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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