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Audiology Open Access
Owing to its subjective nature, behavioral pure-tone audiometry often is an unreliable testing method in uncooperative subjects, and assessing the true hearing threshold becomes difficult. In such cases, objective tests are used for hearing-threshold determination (i.e., auditory brainstem evoked potentials [ABEP] and frequency-specific auditory evoked potentials: slow negative response at 10 msec [SN-1O]). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation between pure-tone audiogram shape and the predictive accuracy of SN-IO and ABEP in normal controls and in patients suffering from sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). One-hundred-and-fifty subjects aged 15 to 70, some with normal hearing and the remainder with SNHL, were tested prospectively in a double-blind design. The battery of tests included pure-tone audiometry (air and bone conduction), speech reception threshold, ABEP, and SN- 10. Patients with SNHL were divided into four categories according to audiogram shape (i.e., flat, ascending, descending, and all other shapes). The results showed that ABEP predicts behavioral thresholds at 3 kHz and 4 kHz in cases of high-frequency hearing loss. Also demonstrated was that ABEP threshold estimation at 3 kHz was not affected significantly by audiogram contour. A good correlation was observed between SN-l 0 and psychoacoustic thresholds at I kHz, the only exception being the group of subjects with ascending audiogram, in which SN-1O overestimated the hearing threshold.
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Author(s): L Bishara J BenDavid L Podoshin M Fradis CB Teszlerl H Pratt T Shpack H Feiglin H Hafner and N Herlinger
ascending audiogram, audiogram, audiogram shape, auditory brainstem evoked potentials, average audiogram, behavioral audiometry, behavioral threshold, electrophysiological threshold, frequency-specific auditory evoked potentials, objective hearing tests, predictive accuracy, psychoacoustic threshold, sensorineural hearing loss