PURPOSE: To describe the Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potential (BAEP) results of full-term small-for-gestational-age newborns, comparing them to the results of full-term appropriate-for-gestational-age newborns, in order to verify whether the small-for-gestational-age condition is a risk indicator for retrocochlear hearing impairment. METHODS: This multicentric prospective cross-sectional study assessed 86 full-term newborns - 47 small- (Study Group) and 39 appropriate-for-gestational-age (Control Group - of both genders, with ages between 2 and 12 days. Newborns with presence of transient evoked otoacoustic emissions and type A tympanometry were included in the study. Quantitative analysis was based on the mean and standard deviation of the absolute latencies of waves I, III and V and interpeak intervals I-III, III-V and I-V, for each group. For qualitative analysis, the BAEP results were classified as normal or altered by analyzing these data considering the age range of the newborn at the time of testing. RESULTS: In the Study Group, nine of the 18 (38%) subjects with altered BAEP results had the condition of small-for-gestational-age as the only risk factor for hearing impairments. In the Control Group, seven (18%) had altered results. Female subjects from the Study Group tended to present more central alterations. In the Control Group, the male group tended to have more alterations. CONCLUSION: Full-term children born small or appropriate for gestational age might present transitory or permanent central hearing impairments, regardless of the presence of risk indicators.
Evoked potentials; auditory brainstem; Hearing; Hearing disorders; Infant; newborn; Infant; small for gestational age