Profile and Stability of Sensorineural Hearing Loss in Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn The purpose of this study was to examine the incidence, profile, and stability of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) in infants diagnosed with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Over a five-year period, 19 of 51 infants (37%) with PPHN were diagnosed with SNHL: 16 with bilateral and 3 with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1991
Profile and Stability of Sensorineural Hearing Loss in Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joseph P. Walton
    University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester, NY
  • Karen Hendricks-Munoz
    New York University Medical Center New York, NY
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Joseph P. Walton, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Audiology, Box 629, Rochester, NY 14642.
Article Information
Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1991
Profile and Stability of Sensorineural Hearing Loss in Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1991, Vol. 34, 1362-1370. doi:10.1044/jshr.3406.1362
History: Received May 21, 1990 , Accepted November 13, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1991, Vol. 34, 1362-1370. doi:10.1044/jshr.3406.1362
History: Received May 21, 1990; Accepted November 13, 1990

The purpose of this study was to examine the incidence, profile, and stability of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) in infants diagnosed with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Over a five-year period, 19 of 51 infants (37%) with PPHN were diagnosed with SNHL: 16 with bilateral and 3 with unilateral impairment. This incidence of SNHL is approximately 25 times greater than observed in graduates of our intensive care nursery. The profile of SNHL in the group of 19 children was typically downward sloping. However, there was considerable variation with respect to degree of loss. In addition, progressive SNHL was identified in 5 children whose hearing worsened an average of 55 dB at 2 to 4 kHz. On retrospective analysis, the perinatal variables associated with PPHN were comparable between hearing-impaired and normal-hearing infants. In contrast, the two groups were significantly different when treatment variables, such as the duration of mechanical ventilation or amikacin, were compared. Children with SNHL were treated for longer durations as compared to normal-hearing infants. Children with SNHL were subdivided into two groups, mild and severe, based on degree of loss and treatment variables, and compared again to the normal-hearing group. Two findings emerged from this analysis. First, the duration of hyperventilation was now the only variable significantly different between children with mild SNHL and children with normal hearing. Second, comparison of the mild with the severe SNHL groups showed that the duration of hyperventilation was similar. The pathophysiology and underlying mechanisms resulting in SNHL in PPHN survivors are discussed.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance and support of Larry Dalzell, Kathleen Merle, Laurie Walsh, and the audiology and neonatology staff at Strong Memorial Hospital, without which this work would not have been possible. Thanks also to Larry Humes and Deborah Hayes for helpful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.
The research described in this paper was presented in part at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Detroit, Ml, November 21, 1988.
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