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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2017, Article ID 7912127, 8 pages
Research Article

Recovery of Abnormal ABR in Neonates and Infants at Risk of Hearing Loss

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, “P. & A. Kyriakou” Children’s Hospital of Athens, Thivon & Levadias Str., 11527 Athens, Greece
2Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, 2nd Department of Pediatrics, Athens University Medical School, “P. & A. Kyriakou” Children’s Hospital of Athens, Thivon & Levadias Str., 11527 Athens, Greece
33rd Department of Pediatrics, Athens University Medical School, “Attikon” University General Hospital, 1 Rimini St., 12464 Athens, Greece

Correspondence should be addressed to Ioannis Psarommatis; moc.liamtoh@sitammoraspi

Received 25 December 2016; Revised 19 February 2017; Accepted 5 March 2017; Published 4 April 2017

Academic Editor: Johan H. M. Frijns

Copyright © 2017 Ioannis Psarommatis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this retrospective study is to present the clinical experience of a single institution on the recovery of ABR thresholds in a large population of neonates and infants at risk of hearing loss. Potential prognostic factors associated with this phenomenon were also investigated. Out of 2248 high risk infants, 384 had abnormal ABR at initial hearing evaluation and 168 of them had absent ABR or a threshold ≥80 dBnHL. From this subgroup, a significant percentage showed complete or partial recovery on reexamination (32.7% and 9.3%, resp.), performed 4–6 months later. The presence of normal otoacoustic emissions was associated with the ABR restoration on reexamination. Moreover, the very young age at the initial hearing screening seems to be related to higher probabilities of false positive ABR. The potential recovery of hearing in HR infants raises concerns about the very early cochlear implantation in HR infants less than one year. Such a treatment modality should be decided cautiously and only after obtaining valid and stable objective and subjective hearing thresholds. This holds especially true for infants showing an auditory neuropathy profile, as they presented a much greater probability of ABR recovery.