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J Perinatol. 2013 Jan;33(1):3-8. doi: 10.1038/jp.2012.105. Epub 2012 Aug 9.

Ototoxicity in preterm infants: effects of genetics, aminoglycosides, and loud environmental noise.

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Department of Newborn Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Majority of hearing-loss cases with extremely preterm infants have no known etiology. There is a growing concern that the administration of aminoglycoside treatment in the noisy environment of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) may lead to hair-cell damage and subsequent auditory impairments. In addition, several mitochondrial DNA mutations are known to have been associated with aminoglycoside-induced hearing loss. This review provides a systematic analysis of the research in this area and elucidates the multifactorial mechanisms behind how mitochondrial DNA mutations, aminoglycosides and loud noise can potentiate ototoxicity in extremely preterm neonates. Recommended steps to minimize the risk of ototoxicity and improve clinical care for NICU infants are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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