Objective: Universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) test outcomes can be influenced by conditions affecting the sound conduction pathway, including ear canal and/or middle ear function. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the test performance of wideband (WB) acoustic transfer functions and 1-kHz tympanometry in terms of their ability to predict the status of the sound conduction pathway for ears that passed or were referred in a UNHS program. Design: A distortion-product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) test was used to determine the UNHS status of 455 infant ears (375 passed and 80 referred). WB and 1-kHz tests were performed immediately after the infant's first DPOAE test (day 1). Of the 80 infants referred on day 1, 67 infants were evaluated again after a second UNHS DPOAE test the next day (day 2). WB data were acquired under ambient and tympanometric (pressurized) ear canal conditions. Clinical decision theory analysis was used to assess the test performance of WB and 1-kHz tests in terms of their ability to classify ears that passed or were referred, using DPOAE UNHS test outcomes as the "gold standard." Specifically, performance was assessed using previously published measurement criteria and a maximum-likelihood procedure for 1-kHz tympanometry and WB measurements, respectively. Results: For measurements from day 1, the highest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.87 for an ambient WB test predictor. The highest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve among several variables derived from 1-kHz tympanometry was 0.75. In general, ears that passed the DPOAE UNHS test had higher energy absorbance compared with those that were referred, indicating that infants who passed the DPOAE UNHS had a more acoustically efficient conductive pathway. Conclusions: Results showed that (1) WB tests had better performance in classifying UNHS DPOAE outcomes than 1-kHz tympanometry; (2) WB tests provide data to suggest that many UNHS referrals are a consequence of transient conditions affecting the sound conduction pathway; (3) WB data reveal changes in sound conduction during the first 2 days of life; and (4) because WB measurements used in the present study are objective and quick it may be feasible to consider implementing such measurements in conjunction with UNHS programs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Speech and Hearing