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Laryngoscope. 2015 Apr;125(4):985-90. doi: 10.1002/lary.25045. Epub 2015 Feb 11.

The influence of newborn hearing screening on the age at cochlear implantation in children.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.



To evaluate the influence of the introduction of newborn hearing screening programs on the age at cochlear implantation in children.


Retrospective, multicenter cohort study.


All 1,299 pediatric cochlear implant users who received their implants before the age of 5 years between 1995 and 2011 in the Medical University Hannover, Germany and University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands were enrolled in this study. Age at implantation and the number of children implanted within the first year of life was assessed for each center.


Age at cochlear implantation gradually declined over the years in both centers. The introduction of the screening resulted in significant decline in the age at implantation in the Netherlands; simultaneously, the number of children implanted within their first year of life increased significantly. Comparing 4-year epochs immediately before and after introduction of the screening, the mean age decreased from 2.4 to 1.2 years, and the percentage of early implanted children increased from 9% to 37%. In the German population, a similar effect of the introduction of the hearing screening program was absent.


The introduction of the national newborn hearing screening program has reduced the age at cochlear implantation in young children in the Netherlands but not in Germany. Correspondingly, it resulted in an increase in the number of children implanted early in life. The difference between the Dutch and German population might be due to differences in the follow-up and referral after the hearing screening.


Cochlear implantation; deafness; hearing loss; neonatal; newborn hearing screening

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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