Retinopathy of prematurity and hearing impairment in infants born with very‐low‐birth‐weight: Analysis of a korean neonatal network database

Chang Myeon Song, Ja Hye Ahn, Jae Kyoon Hwang, Chang Ryul Kim, Mi Jung Kim, Kyeong Mi Lee, Hyun Ju Lee, Seong Joon Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: To investigate hearing impairment and its association with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) among children born with very low birth weight (VLBW, birth weight < 1500 g). Methods: This prospective registry study included 7940 VLBW infants who underwent both ophthalmic (ROP) and hearing screening at the 70 participating centers of the Korean Neonatal Net-work. Hearing screening was performed using auditory brainstem response and/or automated oto-acoustic emission testing. Hearing impairment, defined as a unilateral or bilateral hearing threshold of ≥40 dB on the auditory brainstem response threshold (ABR‐T) test, was evaluated and compared between children with and without ROP at the corrected ages of 18 months and 3 years. Results: The frequency of infants who did not undergo hearing screening at near‐term ages was higher in the ROP group than in the no‐ROP group (18.2% vs. 12.0%, p < 0.001), and the prevalence of hearing impairment at 18 months was higher in the ROP group than in the no‐ROP group (3.5% vs. 2.2%, p = 0.043). The prevalence of deafness was higher in children with ROP than those without ROP (0.4% vs. 0.1%, p = 0.049). There were significant differences in hearing impairment among the stages of ROP (p < 0.001). However, multivariate analyses and propensity score matching showed no significant association between ROP and hearing impairment at 18 months and 3 years after adjusting for prematurity‐related variables (all p > 0.05). Conclusions: Among infants born with VLBW, hearing impairment was more common in those with ROP than in those without ROP at 18 months of age. However, there was no significant independent association between hearing impairment and ROP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4781
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume10
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021 Oct 1

Keywords

  • Hearing impairment
  • Retinopathy of prematurity
  • Screening
  • Very low birth weight

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