Author(s): Attias J, Raveh E, Attias J, Raveh E, Attias J, Raveh E, Attias J, Raveh E
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Abstract This study describes 5 infants who were diagnosed with auditory neuropathy (AN) associated with severe to profound neural hearing loss shortly after birth. However, on repetition of the tests 7-12 months later, all infants showed full or partial recovery. The follow-up electrophysiological patterns were characterized by the appearance of wave I, followed by wave III and V, reflecting synchronization of auditory pathways and improvement in auditory nerve function. Suspected causative or contributory factors were neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, hypoxia, ischemia, and central nervous system immaturity, alone or in combination. These findings indicate that lack of an auditory brain stem response does not necessarily mean no hearing and that the situation where AN exists can improve. Thus, clinicians should be made aware that although cochlear implants may yield better auditory performance when applied early, they should be considered a therapeutic option only after repeated measures have proved persistent AN, and no child should be considered for an implant until a behavioral measure of hearing has been obtained.
This article was published in Audiol Neurootol
and referenced in Journal of Communication Disorders, Deaf Studies & Hearing Aids