Hypoxia–ischemia (HI) is a major perinatal problem that results in severe damage to the brain impairing the normal development of the auditory system. The purpose of the present study is to study the effect of perinatal asphyxia on the auditory pathway by recording auditory brain responses in a novel animal experimentation model in newborn piglets.
Hypoxia-ischemia was induced to 1.3 day-old piglets by clamping 30 minutes both carotid arteries by vascular occluders and lowering the fraction of inspired oxygen. We compared the Auditory Brain Responses (ABRs) of newborn piglets exposed to acute hypoxia/ischemia (n = 6) and a control group with no such exposure (n = 10). ABRs were recorded for both ears before the start of the experiment (baseline), after 30 minutes of HI injury, and every 30 minutes during 6 h after the HI injury.
Auditory brain responses were altered during the hypoxic-ischemic insult but recovered 30-60 minutes later. Hypoxia/ischemia seemed to induce auditory functional damage by increasing I-V latencies and decreasing wave I, III and V amplitudes, although differences were not significant.
The described experimental model of hypoxia-ischemia in newborn piglets may be useful for studying the effect of perinatal asphyxia on the impairment of the auditory pathway.
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