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Hearing threshold prediction with Auditory Steady State Responses and estimation of correction functions to compensate for differences with behavioral data, in adult subjects. Part 1: Audera and CHARTR EP devices

Stavros Hatzopoulos, Joseph Petruccelli, Lech Śliwa, Wieslaw W. Jędrzejczak, Krzysztof Kochanek, Henryk Skarżyński

Med Sci Monit 2012; 18(7): MT47-53

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.883195


Background:    The objective of the study was the evaluation and comparison of hearing threshold values extrapolated from Auditory Steady State Responses, using 2 commercial systems and the estimation of correction factors applicable to the ASSR data.
    Material/Methods:    One hundred ten subjects participated to the study. All subjects were initially examined with otoscopy, pure-tone audiometry and admittance. Data were acquired by 2 clinical systems the Audera (Viasys) and the CHARTR EP (ICS), using identical protocols. The acoustic stimuli consisted of single carrier frequencies at 1000, 2000 and 4000 Hz modulated at 40 Hz.
    Results:    The data show that the threshold estimates from both devices differ significantly from the measured behavioral thresholds. The ICS device presented significantly larger mean-ASSR estimated hearing level values at the tested frequencies, implying an underestimation of the hearing threshold. Both sets of prediction errors overestimated hearing levels for the normal group. The prediction errors were in all cases greater for the Audera than for the ICS.
    Conclusions:    The errors encountered in the estimates of the 2 widely-used commercial devices suggest that the current ASSR protocols are not ready for a wide-range use and that significant developments in the area of threshold prediction / precision are necessary. If, on the other-hand, the ASSR predicted threshold is used on a purely consulting basis, as in hearing-aid fitting, then such errors might be acceptable in a clinical setting.

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