Sensorineural hearing loss after neonatal meningitis: a single-centre retrospective study

Ankur Sharma, James M. Leaf, Saumya Thomas, Christine Cane, Claire Stuart, Catherine Tremlett, John Fitzgerald, Paul Clarke

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Babies in intensive care are at higher risk for meningitis and sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). We reviewed the rate of SNHL among definite cases of bacterial/fungal meningitis in our neonatal intensive care unit over a 16-year period (2006–2021). We identified 16 confirmed meningitis cases among 16 070 admissions: 8 of 10 surviving infants with available diagnostic audiology had normal/satisfactory hearing while 2 of 10 had SNHL. Both infants with permanent hearing loss had been born extremely preterm and received potentially ototoxic antimicrobials. Larger studies are needed to clarify whether SNHL occurs mainly due to meningitis itself or to its antimicrobial drug treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001601
JournalBMJ Paediatrics Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2022

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