Melatonin is a useful alternative to sedation in children undergoing brainstem audiometry with an age dependent success rate--a field report of 250 investigations.

Abstract

Though brainstem audiometry is one of the most important investigations in pediatric audiology, it often necessitates sedation or general anaesthetics, especially in newborns and infants. Melatonin, inducing natural sleep without the risks of sedation, has been successfully used to induce sleep prior to EEG investigations. 250 children (142 male, 108 female) with suspected hearing loss underwent ABR (auditory brainstem responses) tests in melatonin-induced sleep. Click-induced and notched-noise ABR tests were performed. Click tests were successfully performed in 216 of 249 children or 86.7% (123 male, 93 female), notched-noise tests in 115 of 155 children or 74.2%. Failure rates showed an age dependence increasing from 4% in children <1 year to 25%>3 years, but no gender difference. In conclusion, melatonin-induced sleep is a good alternative to sedation, especially in children younger than 3 years. This method is widely accepted by parents and permits earlier diagnosis of hearing impairment in a routine clinical setting. The number of children undergoing general anaesthesia for ABR investigation was reduced from over 60 per year in 2000-2002 to 12 in 2005, which means >80% less general anaesthesia.

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@article{Schmidt2007MelatoninIA, title={Melatonin is a useful alternative to sedation in children undergoing brainstem audiometry with an age dependent success rate--a field report of 250 investigations.}, author={C. M. Schmidt and Arne Knief and Dirk Deuster and Peter Matulat and Antionette G Am Zehnhoff-Dinnesen}, journal={Neuropediatrics}, year={2007}, volume={38 1}, pages={2-4} }