Relationship between auditory brainstem response and neonantal hyperbilirubinemia before and after treatment
Background and Aim: Neonatal jaundice is one of the common causes of early sensorineural hearing loss and an important cause of deafness in children. Auditory responses are the most sensitive parts of the nervous system to the toxic effect of bilirubin. This study was aimed to examine the effect of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and its treatment on auditory brainstem responses (ABR).
Methods: In this before-after and experimental study, a total of 44 term neonates who were admitted to the neonatal ward due to bilirubin level of ≥15 mg/dl after the third day of birth were entered to the study. The first ABR examination was carried out within the first day of admission and repeated after treatment if it was abnormal. Comparisons were drawn to examine the correlation between ABR changes and the level of bilirubin and ABR changes before and after treatment of hyperbilirubinemia. p<0.05 was considered significant, and statistical power of the study was 90%.
Results: ABR was abnormal in 45% of the understudy population. The most common abnormality was prolonged latency of wave V (90%, p=0.0001). Other abnormalities were prolonged interpeak latencies (IPL) of wave I-III (85%, p=0.692), prolonged latency of wave III (65%, p=0.0001), prolonged IPL of wave I-V (25%, p= 0.087) and prolonged wave I (4%, p=0.0149). ABR was repeated on six neonates, four cases (67%) of which had normal ABR and the other two (33%) were abnormal.
Conclusion: ABR evaluation should be routinely performed in neonates with hyperbilirubinemia regardless of the presence of bilirubin-induced encephalopathic findings.
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