Brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEP) were studied in 93 newborns (49 preterm and 44 fullterm) admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. One group of 42 infants (28-42 wk CA) were considered at low risk for perinatal complications and served to establish the normal ranges of the BAEP parameters (wave I peak latency and wave I-V interwave interval). Two groups of high risk infants were studied during or shortly following clinically significant hyperbilirubinemia (31 infants) or hypoxemia (20 infants). Though statistically significant BAEP abnormalities were found in the high risk infants, these consisted predominantly of wave I latency prolongations in hypoxemic infants (p < 0.05) indicating dysfunction in peripheral auditory processes. No significant increases in the wave I-V interval (central conduction time) were found in the high risk infants to suggest central auditory dysfunction in the brainstem. These findings are discussed in relation to previous studies of hyperbilirubinemic and hypoxemic infants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology