MANY otolaryngologists distrust bone conduction audiometry. Attempts to use it as a diagnostic tool in clinical practice have frequently been unsatisfactory and discouraging. It is true that some otologists have come to rely on the technic, but they have encountered difficulty when comparing results. Generally speaking, bone conduction audiometry is considered a relatively uncertain method which serves merely as a diagnostic supplement to tuning fork tests.
DIFFICULTIES IN BONE CONDUCTION TESTING
Four major reasons contribute to the current mistrust of bone conduction measurements. In the first place, many workers doubt the reliability of thresholds obtained by this method. They feel that a high margin of error is introduced by such factors as differences in positioning of the vibrator and in the pressure with which it is applied. However, Carhart and Hayes have shown that bone conduction thresholds can have good repeatability in clinical circumstances.1 They compared tests on 500 ears.
CARHART R. CLINICAL APPLICATION OF BONE CONDUCTION AUDIOMETRY. Arch Otolaryngol. 1950;51(6):798–808. doi:10.1001/archotol.1950.00700020824003
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