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Correlation analysis of the long latency auditory evoked potential N2 and cognitive P3 with the level of lead poisoning in children

Keywords: Lead , Lead Poisoning , Evoked Potentials , Auditory , Event-Related Potentials , P300

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Abstract:

Introduction: The effects of lead on children's health have been widely studied. Aim: To analyze the correlation between the long latency auditory evoked potential N2 and cognitive P3 with the level of lead poisoning in Brazilian children. Methods: This retrospective study evaluated 20 children ranging in age from 7 to 14 years at the time of audiological and electrophysiological evaluations. We performed periodic surveys of the lead concentration in the blood and basic audiological evaluations. Furthermore, we studied the auditory evoked potential long latency N2 and cognitive P3 by analyzing the absolute latency of the N2 and P3 potentials and the P3 amplitude recorded at Cz. At the time of audiological and electrophysiological evaluations, the average concentration of lead in the blood was less than 10 ug/dL. Results: In conventional audiologic evaluations, all children had hearing thresholds below 20 dBHL for the frequencies tested and normal tympanometry findings; the auditory evoked potential long latency N2 and cognitive P3 were present in 95% of children. No significant correlations were found between the blood lead concentration and latency (p = 0.821) or amplitude (p = 0.411) of the P3 potential. However, the latency of the N2 potential increased with the concentration of lead in the blood, with a significant correlation (p = 0.030). Conclusion: Among Brazilian children with low lead exposure, a significant correlation was found between blood lead levels and the average latency of the auditory evoked potential long latency N2; however, a significant correlation was not observed for the amplitude and latency of the cognitive potential P3.

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