Newborns with hyperbilirubinemia: Usefulness of brain stem auditory response evaluation

G. Sabatino, A. Verrotti, L. A. Ramenghi, S. Domizio, D. Melchionda, T. Fulgente, C. Paci, G. D'Andreamatteo, A. Thomas, M. Onofrj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe brain stem auditory evoked potentials (BAEP) obtained in 48 full-term newborns (20 boys, 28 girls) presenting with high serum total bilirubin concentration (from 238 to 442 mM) without Rhesus or group A, B, O factors incompatibility. Recordings were performed on the 3rd day of life and repeated 5-7 days post-appropriate therapy with photostimulation and exchange transfusion (when bilirubin concentration had decreased below 136 mM). Supplementary recordings were performed 3, 6 and 12 weeks later in order to assess test-retest reliability of components. Mean values of BAEP latencies were compared with those obtained in 40 age-matched control subjects using the same recording procedures. At first recording session (on the 3rd day), latencies of waves III and V obtained in hyperbilirubinemic patients were significantly increased as compared with records in control subjects. Recordings performed 5 to 7 days post-therapy and during subsequent recording sessions showed no significant differences between patients and control groups. Serial neuropsychological evaluations obtained over a 3-year follow-up showed no subsequent neurodevelopmental abnormality for all patients. These findings suggest that hyperbilirubinemia can alter central neurotransmission in auditory brain stem pathways, but this modification is only transient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-368
Number of pages6
JournalNeurophysiologie Clinique / Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • ABR
  • brain stem auditory evoked potentials, BAEP
  • hyperbilirubinemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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