Hearing impairment in the neonate of preeclamptic women

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Preeclampsia is a critical condition that puts both pregnant women and their offspring at risk for multiorgan failure, including inner ear, due to systemic toxemia and vascular events. This study was done to determine the probable prevalence of hearing impairment in children whose mothers had pregnancy-induced hypertension, compared to those born to healthy mothers.


A cohort study was performed on two groups; the first group was made up of the offspring of preeclamptic women (n = 36) and the second was made up of offspring born to healthy mothers (n = 114). They were matched for sex and age. Other confounding variables that could have influenced the hearing were excluded. Transient evoked otoacoustic emission (TEOAE) and auditory brain response (ABR) tests were performed to screen hearing loss in each group.


Failure rates in the first step for cases and controls were 33.33 percent and 12.76%, respectively, which showed a significant difference statistically (P = 0.001). However, the final results of the second TEOAE and ABR between the two groups were not statistically significant (P > 0.05).


Although it does not seem that pregnancy toxemia plays a role in permanent hearing loss in neonates of affected mothers, it might have a transient effect on hearing.

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