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April 1958

Anatomic Localization Implications of the Functional Hearing Tests: Revision of Terminology

Author Affiliations

Iowa City
From the Department of Otolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospitals, State University of Iowa.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1958;67(4):394-402. doi:10.1001/archotol.1958.00730010404003

Synopsis: This paper is concerned primarily with an evaluation of the terminology commonly used to express the results of the functional hearing tests. At the present time the nomenclature lacks a unifying logical coherence, a lack which often results in vague generalities and loose thinking about certain ear pathologies and diagnoses. For example, the phrase "middle ear" involvement has an anatomic connotation; "conduction" impairment conveys a physiologic implication, and "perception" deafness suggests psychologic implications—three different classification schemata or frameworks. We expound the thesis that a cohesive system of terminology based solely on the anatomic localization of pathology associated with hearing impairments is preferable from the diagnostic and treatment points of view.

I. Diagnostic Role of the Functional Hearing Tests  Unequivocal recognition of the diagnostic capabilities and limitations of the functional hearing tests precedes rational interpretation of the test results. The fact that the data obtained by means of the tests

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