A study of brainstem evoked response audiometry in term neonates with hyperbilirubinemia
Keywords:Hearing loss, BERA, ABR and hyperbilirubinemia
Background: Brainstem evoked response audiometry (BERA) has been one of the non-invasive methods to identify the hearing abnormalities in the newborn. This study was done to determine the Incidence of hearing abnormalities during hyperbilirubinemia and to assess the Correlation of high bilirubin levels with abnormal BERA finding in the study population.
Methods: This was a longitudinal observational study comprising of 54 term babies with a mean gestational age of 38.1wks which also included 10 term low birth weight babies. Babies selected for the study had hyperbilirubinemia (>15mg/dl) due to various causes in a tertiary care hospital in Bangalore city. BERA was done in all these babies separately in the both ears using 40db and 80db stimuli at birth, 1st month and 3rd month. Consent was obtained before the start of the study. Student t-test was applied wherever necessary to analyze the data.
Results: Mean age of appearance of jaundice was 5.2 days (4-7 days). Abnormal Auditory Brain Response (ABR) changes were seen in 28 (51.9%) babies at birth, 19 infants (37%) at 1st month and 7 (13%) at 3rd month during follow up.
Conclusions: Hearing loss due to hyperbilirubinemia is a transient phenomenon, which reverts back to normal gradually, with only a small percentage going for permanent damage.
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