Government-funded universal newborn hearing screening and genetic analyses of deafness predisposing genes in Taiwan

Chun Wei Chu, Yann Jang Chen, Yi Hui Lee, Sian Jang Jaung, Fei Peng Lee, Hung Meng Huang

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the association of eight connexin genes (. GJB2, GJB4, GJA1P1, GJB6, GJB3, GJA1, GJB1, and GJC3) and the SLC26A4 gene with congenital hearing impairment among infants in a universal newborn hearing screening program. Method: From September 2009 to October 2013, the consecutive neonates born in all six branches of Taipei City Hospital were enrolled. Infants who failed the newborn hearing screening and were diagnosed with hearing impairment underwent the genetic analyses. Result: 15,404 neonates were born at Taipei City Hospital, and 15,345 neonates underwent newborn hearing screening. Among them, 32 infants were diagnosed with unilateral or bilateral hearing impairment. 26 of them underwent analyses of the connexin genes and the SLC26A4 gene. Of the connexin genes, two infants carried a GJB3 mutation (heterozygous c.580G>A and heterozygous c.520G>A, respectively). Only one infant carried a GJB2 mutation (homozygous c.235delC). One infant carried a GJA1P1 mutation (heterozygous c.929delC) and another carried a GJB4 mutation (heterozygous c.302G>A). Additionally, one infant carried a GJA1P1 novel variant (heterozygous c.1081C>T). Another infant carried a GJA1 novel variant (heterozygous c.1-33C>G). Of the SLC26A4 gene, one infant carried heterozygous c.919-2A>G mutation and a novel variant (heterozygous c.164+1G>C), and high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) of the temporal bone revealed bilateral enlarged vestibular aqueducts. One infant carried heterozygous c.919-2A>G mutation and no inner ear anomalies were demonstrated by HRCT of the temporal bone. Another infant carried a novel variant (heterozygous c.818C>T). Conclusion: These results provide a genetic profile of the connexin genes and SLC26A4 gene among infants with hearing impairment detected by a universal newborn hearing screening program in Taiwan. Further studies and long-term follow up of this cohort are warranted to determine the pathogenicity of each variants and the long-term hearing consequence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-590
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015



  • Congenital hearing loss
  • Genetic testing
  • Newborn hearing screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Medicine(all)

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