A new study by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center shows that genetic testing offers a less invasive and more cost efficient alternative in diagnosing inner ear hearing loss in children. In fact, the study shows that some of the standard tests conducted today are not necessary and should only be done on a case by case basis.
"Our paradigm emphasizes the use of genetic tests, particularly a screen for the GJB2 gene, as the initial diagnostic test of choice. Other tests, such as imaging or CT tests, should be done sequentially and not simultaneously to maximize the benefit of the test," according to John H. Greinwald, Jr., MD, assistant director of the Center for Hearing and Deafness Researchat Cincinnati Children’s, and corresponding author of the article that appears in the December issue of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.
In order to diagnose an infant or child suspected of having hearing loss, physicians conduct a number of diagnostic tests, including urine and blood tests, thyroid function tests, electrocardiograms and imaging studies. These tests are not foolproof and the turnaround time for the results can be slow. Plus, the tests can be costly and in the case of CT scans of the inner ear, the test poses some risk because younger children must be sedated for testing.
Amy Reyes | EurekAlert!
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