Document Detail

Conductive hearing loss and middle ear pathology in young infants referred through a newborn universal hearing screening program in Australia.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23072960     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Although newborn hearing screening programs have been introduced in most states in Australia, the prevalence of conductive hearing loss and middle ear pathology in the infants referred through these programs is not known.
PURPOSE: This study was designed to (1) evaluate the prevalence of conductive hearing loss and middle ear pathology in infants referred by a newborn hearing screening program in north Queensland, (2) compare prevalence rates of conductive hearing loss and middle ear pathology in indigenous and nonindigenous infants, and (3) review the outcomes of those infants diagnosed with conductive hearing loss and middle ear pathology.
RESEARCH DESIGN: Retrospective chart review of infants referred to the Audiology Department of The Townsville Hospital was conducted.
STUDY SAMPLE: Chart review of 234 infants referred for one or both ears from a newborn hearing screening program in north Queensland was conducted. A total of 211 infants attended the diagnostic appointment. Review appointments to monitor hearing status were completed for 46 infants with middle ear pathology or conductive hearing loss.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Diagnosis of hearing impairment was made using an age-appropriate battery of audiological tests. Results were analyzed for both initial and review appointments.
RESULTS: Mean age at initial diagnostic assessment was 47.5 days (SD = 31.3). Of the 69 infants with middle ear pathology during initial diagnostic assessment, 18 had middle ear pathology with normal hearing, 47 had conductive hearing loss, and 4 had mixed hearing loss. Prevalence of conductive hearing loss in the newborns was 2.97 per 1,000 while prevalence of middle ear pathology (with or without conductive hearing loss) was 4.36 per 1,000. Indigenous Australians or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) infants had a significantly higher prevalence of conductive hearing loss and middle ear pathology than non-ATSI infants (35.19 and 44.45% vs 17.83 and 28.66%, respectively). ATSI infants also showed poor resolution of conductive hearing loss over time with 66.67% of ATSI infants reviewed showing persistent conductive hearing loss compared to 17.86% of non-ATSI infants. Medical management of 17 infants with persistent conductive hearing loss included monitoring, antibiotic treatment, examination under anesthesia, and grommet insertion.
CONCLUSIONS: Conductive hearing loss was found to be a common diagnosis among infants referred through screening. ATSI infants had significantly higher rates of middle ear pathology and conductive hearing loss at birth and showed poor resolution of middle ear pathology over time compared to non-ATSI infants. Future research using a direct measure of middle ear function as an adjunct to the automated auditory brainstem response screening tool to distinguish conductive from sensorineural hearing loss may facilitate prioritization of infants for assessment, thus reducing parental anxiety and streamlining the management strategies for the respective types of hearing loss.
Sreedevi Aithal; Venkatesh Aithal; Joseph Kei; Carlie Driscoll
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the American Academy of Audiology     Volume:  23     ISSN:  1050-0545     ISO Abbreviation:  J Am Acad Audiol     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-17     Completed Date:  2012-12-11     Revised Date:  2014-07-31    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9114646     Medline TA:  J Am Acad Audiol     Country:  Canada    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  673-85     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
American Academy of Audiology.
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MeSH Terms
Acoustic Impedance Tests
Ear, Middle / pathology*
Hearing Loss, Conductive / diagnosis*,  epidemiology*,  pathology
Infant, Newborn
Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
Neonatal Screening / methods*
Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous
Queensland / epidemiology
Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
Retrospective Studies

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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