Introduction Preterm neonates are at risk of changes in their auditory system development, which explains the need for auditory monitoring of this population. The Auditory Steady-State Response (ASSR) is an objective method that allows obtaining the electrophysiological thresholds with greater applicability in neonatal and pediatric population.
Objective The purpose of this study is to compare the ASSR thresholds in preterm and term infants evaluated during two stages.
Method The study included 63 normal hearing neonates: 33 preterm and 30 term. They underwent assessment of ASSR in both ears simultaneously through insert phones in the frequencies of 500 to 4000Hz with the amplitude modulated from 77 to 103Hz. We presented the intensity at a decreasing level to detect the minimum level of responses. At 18 months, 26 of 33 preterm infants returned for the new assessment for ASSR and were compared with 30 full-term infants. We compared between groups according to gestational age.
Results Electrophysiological thresholds were higher in preterm than in full-term neonates (p < 0.05) at the first testing. There were no significant differences between ears and gender. At 18 months, there was no difference between groups (p > 0.05) in all the variables described.
Conclusion In the first evaluation preterm had higher thresholds in ASSR. There was no difference at 18 months of age, showing the auditory maturation of preterm infants throughout their development.