Klinik und Poliklinik für Hals-, Nasen- u. Ohrenkranke
Josef-Schneider-Str. 11, 97080 Würzburg
Research foci (and basic equipment-based research projects):
Universal newborn hearing screening program in Würzburg. The Influence of non-pathological factors on the test results
The BERAphon® method employing a special headphone and the time-course step-stimulus algorithm offers a quick and reliable tool for universal hearing screening in newborns. An ABR-based universal newborn hearing screening program has been established in Würzburg since August, 1997. Until August 2001, 4115 newborns have undergone primary and/or control-screening with the BERAphon®. The validity of this method was further examined by testing the effects of non-pathological factors such as gender, age, Apgar score, pH value of the umbilical cord, head circumference and duration of pregnancy on the ABR wave V latency in 415 infants. Out of 3930 infants who were primary screened, 27 infants were diagnosed to have hearing loss. Furthermore, hearing loss was detected in 35 out of 185 infants referred for control screening. Non-pathological factors showed a minor
effect on the test results. Apgar score, gender or chronological age did not have any significant effects on the latency of wave V. Duration of pregnancy, pH value of the umbilical cord or head circumference showed a significant but weak correlation with wave V latency. Only non-pathological factors related to maturation had a minor effect on ABR measurements using the
time-course-step-stimulus algorithm. The BERAphon® method has proven to be a reliable, robust method giving information related to the hearing threshold and accordingly can be used reliably for hearing screening in newborn infants.