Oto acoustic emissions in early detection of sensorineural hearing loss in high-risk neonates

J. Ramanjaneyulu, S. Rajesh Kumar, V. Krishna Chaitanya, A. Kusumanjali


Background: Early identification of congenital hearing loss and early intervention ameliorated many adverse consequences. This study was performed to observe effectiveness of otoacoustic emission in screening of hearing loss in high-risk babies.

Methods: Prospective study on 45 high-risk newborns delivered during period of 2013-2014. Selective newborn hearing performed with oto acoustic emissions (OAE) and auditory brain stem responses (ABR), in high-risk infants aged below 7 days, 15 days, after 45 days and after 90 days.

Results: Study population comprised of 45 high-risk newborns. In 1st level screening, 28 (62%) babies showed recordable OAE, 17 (38%) babies failed. In 2nd level screening 31 (81%) passed and 7 (19%) failed and death occurred in 7 infants. In 3rd level screening both OAE and brain stem evoked response audiometry (BERA), was performed in 38 cases and positivity was reported in 37 cases. 4th level screening was similar to 3rd level screening where 3 babies failed ABR test. In our study incidence of sensorineural hearing loss found to be 78.91% (3/38×1000) per 1000 high-risk babies. Auditory neuropathy was observed in 2 (4.4%) patients. Sensitivity and specificity of OAE was 100% and 33.3% respectively. In high-risk low birth weight neonates’ sensitivity and specificity was 66.7% and 50.0%.

Conclusions: In high-risk babies, appropriate time for screening with OAE is around 60 days of age. OAE are useful diagnostic tool in evaluation of high-risk neonates for early detection of sensorineural hearing loss.


OAE, ABR, BERA, Hearing loss, High risk babies, Neonate screening

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