Preauricular tags and pits in the newborn: the role of hearing tests

Acta Paediatr. 1997 Feb;86(2):170-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1997.tb08860.x.


The aim of this study was to determine the role of audiometry in a group of newborn infants with preauricular tags or pits. During the 2 years of prospective study, 26 infants were born with preauricular tags or pits (5.7 per 1,000 livebirths) and were assessed for hearing impairment by performing behavioural audiometry on day 3 of life and brainstem-evoked response audiometry at 4 months of age. Five infants had associated congenital anomalies (19%). The behavioural audiometry was abnormal in seven infants (27%). The evoked response audiometry was abnormal in 4/23 (17%) newborn infants with isolated tags or pits, and revealed both conductive and/or sensorineural hearing impairment. The incidence of hearing impairment with isolated preauricular tag/pit was significantly higher (p < 0.001) than the incidence reported in preschool children. We conclude that hearing assessment is recommended in the routine evaluation of the newborn with isolated preauricular tags or pits. This policy may facilitate early diagnosis and treatment of hearing impairment in this population.

MeSH terms

  • Audiometry*
  • Ear, External / abnormalities*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem
  • Hearing Disorders / complications
  • Hearing Disorders / congenital
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Prospective Studies