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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The neonate has a temporary conductive hearing loss due to fluid in the middle ear.

Postnatal functional changes in the activity of the ear and auditory pathway in neonatal guinea pigs [from day of birth (postnatal day, PND = 0), PNDs 1-4, 7 and then weekly up to 7 weeks] were studied as a model of maturation of hearing in human neonates. On the day of birth there were signs of a conductive hearing loss: negative middle ear pressure, auditory nerve brainstem evoked response ( ABR) threshold elevation, ABR wave 1 latency prolongation and low amplitude otoacoustic emissions. The conductive hearing loss is probably a result of the (amniotic) fluid found in the neonatal middle-ear cavity. Over the next PNDs, this conductive hearing loss was resolved. In order to confirm this neonatal conductive hearing loss and its resolution, saline was instilled into the middle ear of guinea pigs. This induced signs of a conductive hearing loss similar to those seen in the neonatal guinea pigs which disappeared with clearance of this fluid. Therefore it may be concluded that most of the changes in auditory function seen over the first PNDs are due to absorption of amniotic fluid from the middle-ear cavity.[1]


  1. The neonate has a temporary conductive hearing loss due to fluid in the middle ear. Priner, R., Freeman, S., Perez, R., Sohmer, H. Audiol. Neurootol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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