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Year: 2020  Vol. 24   Num. 3  - Julyy/Sept
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-3399539
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Original Article
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Normal Hearing Function in Children Prenatally Exposed to Zika Virus
Author(s):
Maria Helena Magalhes Barbosa, Cristiane Fregonesi Dutra Garcia, Maria Clara de Magalhes Barbosa, Jaqueline Rodrigues Robaina, Arnaldo Prata-Barbosa, Marco Antonio de Melo Tavares de Lima, Antonio Jos Ledo Alves da Cunha
Key words:
zika virus - hearing - prenatal injuries
Abstract:

Introduction The association between prenatal Zika virus infection and hearing alterations in offspring has been the object of some studies, although few have assessed children without microcephaly. However, a current trend to include prenatal Zika virus exposure in the group of risk indicators for hearing loss is noted. Objective To present a series of 27 children prenatally exposed to the Zika virus submitted to multiple hearing assessments over time. Methods A cohort of children born to symptomatic mothers with laboratorial Zika virus infection confirmation during pregnancy was submitted to an otoacoustic emission test, auditory brainstem response test (automated, neurodiagnostic and frequency-specific), audiometry, and imitanciometry over a period of 36 months since birth. The hearing assessment was performed independently of the presence of microcephaly or other apparent signs of congenital Zika syndrome. Results The hearing tests presented predominantly normal results. Some children had signs of middle ear pathology. The only microcephalic child had normal electrophysiological tests, as well as preserved audiometric thresholds, but presented altered motor responses to sound. Conclusion Prenatal exposure to Zika virus does not always determine hearing impairment. This risk seems to be more associated to the severity of the central nervous system damage. Hearing screening and follow-ups of the affected children are important, as well as further research in this area.

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