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June 1975

Middle Ear Function in Neonates

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45267 (Dr. Keith).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1975;101(6):376-379. doi:10.1001/archotol.1975.00780350040010

This study was designed to investigate the middle ear function of neonates during the first few hours of life. Twenty normal babies, ranging in age from 2.5 to 20 hours old, were tested with an electro-acoustic impedance bridge. Measurements of the acoustic compliance of the tympanic membrane and tympanometry were obtained on both ears of each child.

Results of compliance measurements indicated a median of 1.2 cu cm with a range from 0.25 to 1.65 cu cm. Tympanometry results showed smooth notched-shaped tympanograms in most cases although a few M-shaped tympanograms were observed. All of the infants demonstrated normal middle ear pressures and mobile middle ear systems. The finding of normal middle ear function in these neonates suggests that mucus is not commonly present and therefore not a factor in infants' response to sound.