The Relationship between the Behavioral Hearing Thresholds and Maximum Bilirubin Levels at Birth in Children with a History of Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia

Document Type : Original


1 Department of Audiology, Faculty of Rehabilitation, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Basic Sciences in Rehabilitation, Faculty of Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Research Center, Tehran

3 Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Management and Medical Information, University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Children's Hospital, martyr Akbar-Abadi, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia is one of the most important factors affecting the auditory system and can cause sensorineural hearing loss. This study investigated the relationship between behavioral hearing thresholds in children with a history of jaundice and the maximum level of bilirubin concentration in the blood.
Materials and Methods:
This study was performed on 18 children with a mean age of 5.6 years and with a history of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. Behavioral hearing thresholds, transient evoked emissions and brainstem evoked responses were evaluated in all children.
Six children (33.3 %) had normal hearing thresholds and the remaining (66.7 %) had some degree of hearing loss. There was no significant relationship (r= -0.28, P= 0.09) between the mean total bilirubin levels and behavioral hearing thresholds in all samples. A transient evoked emission was seen only in children with normal hearing thresholds however in eight cases brainstem evoked responses had not detected.
Increased blood levels of bilirubin at the neonatal period were potentially one of the causes of hearing loss. There was a lack of a direct relationship between neonatal bilirubin levels and the average hearing thresholds which emphasizes on the necessity of monitoring the various amounts of bilirubin levels.