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

Effect of bilirubin on brainstem auditory evoked potentials in the asphyxiated rat.

We measured brainstem auditory evoked responses (BAER) in four groups of paralyzed, ventilated, adult rats. Group A (n = 2) received intravenous albumin; group B (n = 5) received bilirubin in albumin; group C (n = 7) was asphyxiated and then received albumin; and group D (n = 19) was asphyxiated and received bilirubin in albumin. When compared with control values, no changes in BAER occurred in groups A or B and only slight changes were found in group C. In group D, seven rats died and seven suffered a marked secondary deterioration of the BAER following recovery, a phenomenon that did not occur in group C (p = 0.02). Bilirubin toxicity appears to be responsible for the changes in BAER but prior asphyxia was necessary for this effect to occur. Because the changes that occurred in group D involved all four major waves, it is not possible to separate out a toxic effect of bilirubin, localized to the auditory nerve and the auditory pathway, from a generalized systemic effect which could cause attenuation of the entire response. The BAER may be useful, however, as a noninvasive means of identifying bilirubin toxicity in the newborn.[1]


  1. Effect of bilirubin on brainstem auditory evoked potentials in the asphyxiated rat. Jirka, J.H., Duckrow, R.B., Kendig, J.W., Maisels, M.J. Pediatr. Res. (1985) [Pubmed]
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