Outcome of a universal newborn hearing-screening programme based on multiple transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions and clinical brainstem response audiometry
Abstract Conclusion: This universal newborn hearing-screening (UNHS) programme revealed high efficacy. The proportion of congenital sensorineural hearing loss was higher in left ears and in males than in right ears and females, which was in line with the systematic ear asymmetries and sex differences in transient-evoked otoacoustic emission (TEOAE) pass percentage. Objectives: To study the long-term outcome of a UNHS programme based on multiple TEOAEs and clinical click-evoked auditory brainstem response (ABR). Method: The study included all the newborns that were screened during a 6-year period (n = 31 092). TEOAE pass/fail was analysed in detail. In an assessment performed 10 years after the start of the 6-year UNHS, prevalence, degree and type of congenital hearing loss were studied. Results: The proportion of screened newborns was high, i.e. 98%. Multiple TEOAE recordings minimized the need for clinical ABR. Fifty-seven (0.18%) subjects showed bilateral hearing loss (exceeding ≈ 30 dB HL); median ABR threshold = 60 dB nHL (at 2.5 months of age). Bilateral and unilateral sensorineural hearing loss was found in 0.17% (n = 52; 56% males) and 0.06% (n = 18; 61% left ears, 56% males) of the screened newborns, respectively. Higher TEOAE pass percentages (p < 0.01) were demonstrated in right ears and in females than in left ears and males.