Educationally significant hearing loss has been reported in 10% to 15% of children with congenital toxoplasmosis. As part of a pilot study to assess feasibility and safety of prolonged therapy for congenital toxoplasmosis, 30 congenitally infected infants and children were evaluated for auditory function. Serial testing, beginning within 2 months of birth, was performed. Availability of auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing made evaluation at an earlier age than previously possible. Six (20%) of the 30 infants had mild to moderate conductive type hearing loss associated with otitis media. No infant or child had sensorineural hearing loss. The better outcome we observed compared to previous reports of a 15% to 26% incidence of sensorineural hearing loss and 10% to 15% incidence of educationally significant, bilateral hearing impairment may be related to early initiation and/or prolonged institution of antimicrobial therapy. Continued followup to exclude progressive hearing impairment and study of larger numbers of children are needed to verify these preliminary findings.
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