Prenatal ultrasound exposure and association with postnatal hearing outcomes.

Claude F. Harbarger, Paul M. Weinberger, Jack C. Borders, Charles A. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Prenatal ultrasound exams have become increasingly frequent. Although no serious adverse effects are known, the public health implications would be enormous should adverse effects on auditory development be shown. This study looks to establish a possible correlation between hearing loss and increased prenatal ultrasound exposure. Design: Retrospective cohort analysis. Setting: Tertiary academic referral center. Methods: A retrospective review of 100 children undergoing newborn hearing screening was conducted. Extensive data collection was performed, and this data was analyzed for a potential correlation between failure of newborn hearing screening and increased prenatal ultrasound exposure, as well as for a potential correlation of other variables with hearing loss. Main outcome measures: Postnatal hearing outcomes. Results: A higher number of both total and 3rd trimester ultrasound exams as well as a younger gestational age at birth were all found to be significantly associated with a higher likelihood of passing the newborn hearing screen (p<0.001 for each). No other factors were found to reach statistical significance. Conclusions: Our results show that there is no correlation between a higher level of prenatal ultrasound exposure and hearing loss. Indeed, infants who had more prenatal ultrasounds in the third trimester were more likely to pass their screening hearing exams. The finding that children receiving more prenatal ultrasounds have a higher likelihood of passing newborn hearing screens serves as an excellent reminder of the classic statistics rule that correlation does not imply causation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of otolaryngology - head & neck surgery = Le Journal d'oto-rhino-laryngologie et de chirurgie cervico-faciale
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 31 2013

Fingerprint

Hearing
Hearing Loss
Newborn Infant
Third Pregnancy Trimester
Prenatal Diagnosis
Tertiary Care Centers
Causality
Gestational Age
Cohort Studies
Public Health
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Parturition

Keywords

  • Hearing loss
  • Prenatal
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery

Cite this

Prenatal ultrasound exposure and association with postnatal hearing outcomes. / Harbarger, Claude F.; Weinberger, Paul M.; Borders, Jack C.; Hughes, Charles A.

In: Journal of otolaryngology - head & neck surgery = Le Journal d'oto-rhino-laryngologie et de chirurgie cervico-faciale, Vol. 42, No. 3, 31.01.2013, p. 1-5.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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