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Research Article Open Access
Cortical evoked response audiometry is adequate for approximating hearing threshold levels with frequency specificity when the psychoacoustic responses lack reliability and reproducibility (compensation claim). It is well-known that control of wakefulness is essential for the reliability of slow vertex responses (SVR). Therefore, sedative, hypnotic, and neuroleptic drugs are supposed to have possible adverse effects on the detection' of SVR. In contrast, brains tern evoked responses (BER) have proved not to be significantly affected by therapeutic doses of these compounds. The purpose of our study was to assess the reliability of SVR-threshold definition in subjects taking neuroleptic, sedative, and hypnotic drugs. Fifteen subjects examined for occupational hearing loss at the Fund for Occupational Diseases in Brussels and regularly taking one or several of these drugs were compared with 27 comparable controls. In each subject the auditory thresholds were defined with both techniques: SVR (1, 2, and 3 kHz) and BER (clicks). A highly significant difference is observed between the two groups: In the group receiving drugs, the SVR threshold for 3 kHz is 12.1 dB (average) higher than the BER threshold, whereas in the group without drugs, the SVR threshold for 3 kHz is 7.77 dB (average) lower than the BER threshold. In the drug group, large interindividual differences are observed. It may be concluded that the use of neuroieptics, sedatives, and hypnotics renders the auditory threshold definition with SVR completely unreliable. In using SVR for medicolegal threshold definition, controlling the 3-kHz threshold with BER always is necessary.
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Author(s): Philippe H Dejonckere Jean Lebacq and Christiane Coryn
cortical response audiometry, evoked potentials, forensic medicine, hypnotics, legal medicine, neuroleptics, sedatives, slow vertex responses