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To evaluate the feasibility of auditory monitoring of neurophysiological status using frequency-following response (FFR) in neonates with progressive moderate hyperbilirubinemia, measured by transcutaneous (TcB) levels. ABR and FFR measures were compared and correlated with TcB levels across three groups. Group I was a healthy cohort (n = 13). Group II (n = 28) consisted of neonates with progressive, moderate hyperbilirubinemia and Group III consisted of the same neonates, post physician-ordered phototherapy. FFR amplitudes in Group I controls (TcB = 83.1 ± 32.5µmol/L; 4.9 ± 1.9 mg/dL) were greater than Group II (TcB = 209.3 ± 48.0µmol/L; 12.1 ± 2.8 mg/dL). After TcB was lowered by phototherapy, FFR amplitudes in Group III were similar to controls. Lower TcB levels correlated with larger FFR amplitudes (r = -0.291, p = 0.015), but not with ABR wave amplitude or latencies. The FFR is a promising measure of the dynamic neurophysiological status in neonates, and may be useful in tracking neurotoxicity in infants with hyperbilirubinemia.


Gabriella Musacchia, Jiong Hu, Vinod K Bhutani, Ronald J Wong, Mei-Ling Tong, Shuping Han, Nikolas H Blevins, Matthew B Fitzgerald. Frequency-following response among neonates with progressive moderate hyperbilirubinemia. Journal of perinatology : official journal of the California Perinatal Association. 2020 Feb;40(2):203-211

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PMID: 31263204

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