To the Editor.—Twenty-seven newborns with cleft lip and/or palate were tested between 1984 and 1987 using auditory brain-stem response (ABR) audiometry. Nineteen (70% ) of these 27 neonates with cleft palate and/or cleft lip failed the ABR screening test at 40-dB hearing level (HL). Sixteen percent of all neonates at risk for hearing loss failed this same test. A protocol is being established at the University of Miami (Fla) using ABR in neonates with cleft palate to help identify hearing loss, to confirm middle ear effusion (MEE) as diagnosed by otologic examination performed in the newborn nursery, and to use early pressure equalization tube placement to restore hearing very early in the life of the neonate with cleft palate.
History.—In 1958, Skolnik1 reported only a 6% incidence of pathologic findings in the middle ear of children younger than 1 year of age with cleft palates. In 1969, however,
ROBERT E. PICKARD, ROBERT J. HARRISON, JUDITH WIDEN, LAURIE KARBOWSKI, ERNEST A. PETERSON. A Preliminary Report on the Use of Auditory Brain-stem Response Audiometry and the Timing of Tympanotomy With Pressure Equalization Tube Insertion in Cleft Palate Neonates. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115(10):1253. doi:10.1001/archotol.1989.01860340107029