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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 Dec;77(12):1929-35. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2013.08.038. Epub 2013 Sep 8.

Newborn hearing concurrent genetic screening for hearing impairment-a clinical practice in 58,397 neonates in Tianjin, China.

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BGI-Tianjin, Tianjin, China; Tianjin Medical Genomics Technology Engineering Center, Tianjin, China.



Newborn hearing screening (NHS) is used worldwide due to its feasibility and cost-efficiency. However, neonates with late-onset and progressive hearing impairment will be missed by NHS. Genetic factors account for an estimated 60% of congenital profound hearing loss. Our previous cohort studies were carried out in an innovative mode, i.e. hearing concurrent genetic screening, in newborns to improve the abilities or early diagnosis and intervention for the hearing defects. In this study, we performed the first clinical practice of this mode in Tianjin city.


A large cohort of 58,397 neonates, born between December 2011 and December 2012, in 44 hospitals in Tianjin, were screened for 20 hot spot hearing loss associated mutations from GJB2, GJB3, SLC26A4 and MTRNR1(12S rRNA). The data of genetic screening results was comprehensively analyzed with newborn hearing screening (NHS) results.


We developed an accurate, high throughput genetic screening method and applied it to a total of 58,397 newborns in Tianjin. 3225 (5.52%) infants were detected to carry at least one mutation allele in GJB2, GJB3, SLC26A4 or MTRNR1. 34 (0.58‰) infants were positive for hearing loss caused by GJB2 or SLC26A4 mutations (homozygote or compound heterozygote). 54(0.93‰) infants are heterozygous of various genes. 109(1.87‰) infants had the pathological mitochondrial DNA mutation.


Accurate, comprehensive hearing loss associated genetic screening can facilitate genetic counseling and provides valuable prognostic information to affected infants. This united screening mode of this study was a promising clinical practice.


GJB2; GJB3; Genetic screening; MTRNR1; Newborn hearing screening; SLC26A4

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