Prolonged furosemide exposure and risk of abnormal newborn hearing screen in premature infants.
BACKGROUND: At very high doses, furosemide is linked to ototoxicity in adults, but little is known about the risk of hearing loss in premature infants exposed to furosemide. AIMS: Evaluate the association between prolonged furosemide exposure and abnormal hearing screening in premature infants. STUDY DESIGN: Using propensity scoring, infants with prolonged (≥28 days) exposure to furosemide were matched to infants never exposed. The matched sample was used to estimate the impact of prolonged furosemide exposure on the probability of an abnormal hearing screen prior to hospital discharge. SUBJECTS: A cohort of infants 501-1250 g birth weight and 23-29 weeks gestational age discharged home from 210 neonatal intensive care units in the United States (2004-2013). OUTCOME MEASURES: We defined abnormal hearing screen as a result of either "fail" or "refer" for either ear. RESULTS: Altogether, 1020 infants exposed to furosemide for ≥28 days were matched to 790 unique infants never exposed, yielding a total of 1042 matches due to sampling with replacement and propensity score ties. Matching resulted in a population similar in baseline characteristics. After adjusting for covariates, the proportion of infants with an abnormal hearing screen in the furosemide-exposed group was not significantly higher than the never-exposed group (absolute difference 3.0% [95% CI -0.2-6.2%], P = 0.07). CONCLUSIONS: Prolonged furosemide exposure was associated with a positive, but not statistically significant, difference in abnormal hearing screening in premature infants. Additional studies with post-hospital discharge audiology follow-up are needed to further evaluate the safety of furosemide in this population.
Wang, LA; Smith, PB; Laughon, M; Goldberg, RN; Ku, LC; Zimmerman, KO; Balevic, S; Clark, RH; Benjamin, DK; Greenberg, RG; Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act – Pediatric Trials Network Steering Committee,
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