Effects of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and whole-body hypothermia on neonatal auditory function: a pilot study.

Publication Date



American Journal of Perinatology


We assessed the effects of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and whole-body hypothermia therapy on auditory brain stem evoked responses (ABRs) and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs). We performed serial assessments of ABRs and DPOAEs in newborns with moderate or severe HIE, randomized to hypothermia ( N = 4) or usual care ( N = 5). Participants were five boys and four girls with mean gestational age (standard deviation) of 38.9 (1.8) weeks. During the first week of life, peripheral auditory function, as measured by the DPOAEs, was disrupted in all nine subjects. ABRs were delayed but central transmission was intact, suggesting a peripheral rather than a central neural insult. By 3 weeks of age, peripheral auditory function normalized. Hypothermia temporarily prolonged the ABR, more so for waves generated higher in the brain stem but the effects reversed quickly on rewarming. Neonatal audiometric testing is feasible, noninvasive, and capable of enhancing our understanding of the effects of HIE and hypothermia on auditory function.


Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Female, Gestational Age, Humans, Hypothermia, Induced, Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain, Infant, Newborn, Infant, Newborn, Diseases, Male, Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous, Pilot Projects