Prevalence of hearing screening failures in low-risk childhood cancer survivors

Meghan Phelan, Susan S. Hayashi, Kara Sauerburger, Jennifer Henry, Ningying Wu, Robert J. Hayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: We sought to estimate the frequency of hearing screening failures in pediatric cancer survivors at low risk for hearing loss and evaluate the feasibility of administering screenings in this population. Procedure: Survivors in the St. Louis Children's Hospital Late Effects Clinic were recruited. Eligibility included (a) diagnosis of a pediatric cancer treated without platinum chemotherapy or cranial radiation, (b) at least 6 months from completion of therapy, (c) between the ages of 7 and 18 years, (d) cognitively/behaviorally able to participate, and (e) English speaking. Behavioral hearing screenings from 1000 to 8000 Hz were performed by trained personnel using a calibrated audiometer. A failed screen was defined by a participant not responding to two or more of the three screening attempts for at least one frequency in at least one ear. Results: One hundred nine patients met eligibility criteria with 78 enrolled (71.5%). Diagnoses included leukemia (57.7%), sarcoma (11.5%), Wilms tumor (14.1%), lymphoma (12.8%), and other solid tumors (3.9%). The median age was 13.2 years (Q1–Q3: 9.6–15.4) and the median time from treatment completion was 3.7 years (Q1–Q3: 2.3–7.4). Eighteen patients (23%) failed the hearing screen (95% CI: 14%–34%). No demographic or treatment-related variables were significantly correlated to screening failure. Six screen failures (33%) underwent formal audiology assessments, with three demonstrating unilateral hearing loss: two conductive and one sensorineural. Conclusions: A significant fraction of pediatric cancer survivors at low risk for hearing loss failed hearing screening. Broader use of hearing screening should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere29437
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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