Objective: Systematic evaluation of studies using otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) to monitor cochlear damage in patients with bacterial meningitis.Design: Systematic review. This includes articles retrieved from PUBMED and EMBASE. The search-strategy was based on the PICO-model. Data processing involved Cochrane Public Health Data Extraction template in addition to assessment of risk of bias and applicability with the Second Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2) tool.Study samples: Thirty-eight articles were identified with 6 studies comprising 391 children and 17 adult patients eligible for full assessment.Results: Studies were heterogenic and the timing of OAE was incomparable between studies. The frequency of severe loss of hearing was reported to occur between 1.6 and 21% of the patients with culture-proven meningitis. The included studies, albeit heterogenic, found OAE-screening feasible and sensitive in children recovering from bacterial meningitis.Conclusion: No children with hearing loss were reported to pass an OAE screening in any of the included studies. The timing, sensitivity and extent of sensorineural hearing loss determined by OAE could not be assessed from the included studies. Levels of risk of bias were inconsistent and the clinical feasibility for routine inclusion of patients with bacterial meningitis was uncertain. The technological development within this field implies the need for further research.
- hearing loss
- otoacoustic emissions