Middle ear effusion and newborn hearing screening

Hanin Karawani, Wisam Matanis, Shorook Na’ara, Arie Gordin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Middle ear effusion (MEE) is one of the reasons for screening failure and may require prolonged follow-up due to conductive hearing loss. We aimed to examine at 1-year follow-up, the fate of MEE. Methods: From medical charts, computerized data were collected retrospectively of newborns born in the years 2012–2013 in Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa city, Israel, who failed the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS), and follow-up hearing evaluation data were extracted. Results: Of 9527 newborns born in 2012–2013 in our institution, 144 [1.5%] failed the UNHS, and 46 were eventually diagnosed with conductive hearing loss caused by MEE. Spontaneous MEE clearance was recorded in 12 [26%], while 26 [57%] patients had persistent effusion that required further follow-up (10 [22%] required insertion of ventilation tubes and 16 [35%] were referred for further follow-up); 8 [17%] were lost to follow-up. Conclusion: Congenital MEE causing conductive hearing loss and UNHS failure is persistent and resolves at lower rates than non-congenital MEE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-649
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number2
Early online date15 Jul 2022
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Conductive hearing loss
  • Congenital
  • Middle ear effusion in infants
  • Otitis media
  • Screening
  • The universal newborn hearing screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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