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November 1989

Acoustic Value of Brain-stem Audiometry in Infancy

Author Affiliations

Birmingham, Ala

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115(11):1281. doi:10.1001/archotol.1989.01860350015005

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At the 1989 meeting of the Triological Society in San Francisco, Calif, Drs Peter W. Alberti, Martyn L. Hyde, and Krista Riko, Toronto, Canada, presented a study regarding the validity of brain-stem audiometry in high-risk infants. The study group consisted of 731 high-risk infants comparing early brain-stem audiometry with results of later behavioral testing done at ages 3 to 5 years. Children were initially selected for evaluation from a high-risk registry and underwent brain-stem electric response audiometry at 3 to 4 months of age. Approximately 5% had moderate-to-severe hearing losses. The infants who had conductive losses due to middle ear effusion were excluded from the study. When a threshold for sensorineural loss of 40 dB or worse was utilized, brain-stem electric response audiometry was 94% sensitive, with a 96% specificity. For lesser degrees of hearing loss, the testing was considerably less sensitive, and the authors recommend that the 40-dB criterion

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