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Universal newborn hearing screening in 2010

Choo, Daniela,b; Meinzen-Derr, Jareena,b,c

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: October 2010 - Volume 18 - Issue 5 - p 399–404
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e32833d475d
Otology and neuro-otology: Edited by Myles L. Pensak

Purpose of review The objectives of this review are to provide the reader with a current and concise review of the data and trends in universal newborn hearing screening. Within a relatively short period of time, the concept of screening all infants for hearing loss at the time of birth has evolved from a nascent process to a truly universal system in most developed countries. As a result, the focus and challenges of universal newborn hearing screening have shifted to topics of developing even more efficient and cost-effective approaches, and potentially melding physiologic hearing screenings with ancillary screening techniques.

Recent findings Enhancement of the universal newborn hearing screening process is likely to be accomplished by implementation of novel tools such as wideband reflectance technologies and intelligent incorporation of screening for common genetic and viral causes of congenital hearing loss.

Summary With such a rapidly evolving process, it will be critical for clinicians to understand the benefits and limitations of various newborn hearing screening methodologies in order to determine the most appropriate management of children referred from their universal newborn hearing screening. This will entail a working knowledge of emerging audiologic tools as well as infectious and genetic causes of pediatric hearing loss.

aDepartment of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, USA

bDivision of Pediatric Otolaryngology, USA

cDivision of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Correspondence to Dr Daniel Choo, Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA Tel: +1 513 636 7536; fax: +1 513 636 8133; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.