Background:To determine whether the presence of intra-amniotic infection and elevated proinflammatory cytokine levels in amniotic fluid (AF) are associated with failure in the newborn hearing screen (NHS) test in very preterm neonates.Methods:This is a retrospective cohort study of 112 premature singleton neonates born to women with preterm labor or preterm premature rupture of membranes at ≤32 wk. AF obtained through amniocentesis was cultured, and interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-8 levels were determined.Results:Fourteen (12.5%) neonates failed the NHS test. The prevalence of a positive AF culture was 40% (45/112). Multiple logistic regression analyses indicated that intra-amniotic infection was significantly associated with failure in the NHS test after adjusting for baseline covariates such as maternal white blood cell count (WBC) and periventricular leukomalacia. However, the IL-6 and IL-8 levels in AF were not significantly associated with hearing screen failure. Moreover, neither gestational age at birth nor birth weight was associated with NHS failure.Conclusion:The presence of intra-amniotic infection, but not elevated levels of AF IL-6 and IL-8, may contribute to the risk for failure in the NHS test in very preterm neonates. This finding suggests that intra-amniotic infection in utero might contribute to the development of congenital sensorineural hearing loss.