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June 1983

Prognostic Value of Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potentials in Neonates

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego (Ms Stockard and Dr Stockard), and the Sections of Neonatology (Dr Kleinberg) and Electroencephalography (Dr Westmoreland), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Arch Neurol. 1983;40(6):360-365. doi:10.1001/archneur.1983.04050060060011

• The clinical outcome in 74 children at risk for audiologic or neurologic sequelae of a variety of perinatal insults was correlated with brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs) in the newborn period. No constant relationship was found between BAEP findings and later hearing status in preterm infants or in infants with severe brain damage. However, persistent patterns of wave I abnormality correctly predicted the presence and type of hearing loss in other infants. Central BAEP abnormalities recorded in preterm infants or in infants who had just suffered anoxia had little predictive value. The abnormalities had greater prognostic value when there was a delay between acute injury and testing. Prognostic errors could be minimized in this population by obtaining repeated recordings at least one month post term and after injury from infants who showed BAEP abnormalities in the neonatal period.

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