Exposure to gamma-aminobutyric acid-mimetics and N-methyl-D-aspartate-receptor antagonists during pregnancy may lead to hearing loss and long-term behavioral abnormalities in the offspring. The purpose of this study was to explore the association between prenatal exposure to sevoflurane (SEV) anesthesia and hearing impairment in mice.
On gestational day 15, pregnant Kunming mice were exposed for 2 hours to 2.5% SEV plus 100% oxygen (anesthesia group) or 100% oxygen alone (control group).
During auditory brainstem response testing on P30, offspring of the anesthesia group mice exhibited higher hearing thresholds at 8, 16, 24, and 32 kHz; longer peak latency of wave II at all four frequencies; and longer interpeak latencies from waves II to V at 16, 24, and 32 kHz, compared to the control offspring. Caspase-3, iNOS, and COX-2 activation occurred in the fetal cochlea of the anesthesia group. Mitochondrial swelling was observed in the anesthesia group offspring at P1 and P15.