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PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e41002. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041002. Epub 2012 Jul 13.

Effect of hearing aids on auditory function in infants with perinatal brain injury and severe hearing loss.

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  • 1Unidad de Investigación en Neurodesarrollo Dr Augusto Fernández Guardiola, Instituto de Neurobiología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Campus Juriquilla, Querétaro, México.



Approximately 2-4% of newborns with perinatal risk factors present with hearing loss. Our aim was to analyze the effect of hearing aid use on auditory function evaluated based on otoacoustic emissions (OAEs), auditory brain responses (ABRs) and auditory steady state responses (ASSRs) in infants with perinatal brain injury and profound hearing loss.


A prospective, longitudinal study of auditory function in infants with profound hearing loss. Right side hearing before and after hearing aid use was compared with left side hearing (not stimulated and used as control). All infants were subjected to OAE, ABR and ASSR evaluations before and after hearing aid use. The average ABR threshold decreased from 90.0 to 80.0 dB (p = 0.003) after six months of hearing aid use. In the left ear, which was used as a control, the ABR threshold decreased from 94.6 to 87.6 dB, which was not significant (p>0.05). In addition, the ASSR threshold in the 4000-Hz frequency decreased from 89 dB to 72 dB (p = 0.013) after six months of right ear hearing aid use; the other frequencies in the right ear and all frequencies in the left ear did not show significant differences in any of the measured parameters (p>0.05). OAEs were absent in the baseline test and showed no changes after hearing aid use in the right ear (p>0.05).


This study provides evidence that early hearing aid use decreases the hearing threshold in ABR and ASSR assessments with no functional modifications in the auditory receptor, as evaluated by OAEs.

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