Causes of permanent childhood hearing impairment
SourceLaryngoscope, 121, 2, (2011), pp. 409-16
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectDCN 2: Functional Neurogenomics; IGMD 3: Genomic disorders and inherited multi-system disorders
INTRODUCTION: The causes of Permanent Childhood Hearing Impairment (PCHI) are often quoted as being hereditary in 50%, acquired in 25%, and unknown in 25% of cases. Interest in the causes of PCHI has grown recently due to increasing diagnostic possibilities. We investigated the evidence for the reported distribution of these causes. METHODS: Population-based study and a systematic review. Inclusion criteria for population-based study: children born between 2003 and 2005, resident in The Netherlands at birth, known at an Audiology Center with PCHI at the age of 3-5 years. The causes of PCHI were determined prospectively by detection of congenital cytomegalovirus on dried blood spots and/or genetic diagnostic investigations in addition to reviewing data from medical records. A systematic review was carried out using three terms (hearing loss, infant, and etiology) and limited to articles published between January 1997 and July 2009. Main outcome measures were: the (weighted) proportions of the various causes of PCHI following diagnostic investigations. RESULTS: In the study-population (n = 185) a hereditary cause was found in 38.9%, acquired cause in 29.7%, miscellaneous cause in 7.1%, and the cause remained unknown in 24.3%. The systematic review of the literature (n = 9 articles) resulted in a weighted mean of 30.4% hereditary, 19.2% acquired, and 48.3% unknown causes of PCHI. DISCUSSION: The systematic review and the results of the population-based study provided little support for the generally accepted distribution of causes of PCHI.
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