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Association Between Sex and Speech Auditory Brainstem Responses in Adults, and Relationship to Sex Hormone Levels

Jinfeng Liu, Dan Wang, Xiaoting Li, Wang Ningyu

(Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:2275-2283

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.904651

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the association between sex and speech-ABR in adults, and its relationship to sex hormone levels.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Speech-ABR were elicited with the consonant-vowel syllable (/da/) in a total of 35 adults. Reproductive hormone levels were also measured.
RESULTS: The transient response of the speech-ABR (waves V, A, and O) in females show a shorter latency (waves V, A and O) and a larger amplitude (waves V and A) than in males (P<0.05), except for the amplitude of peak O (P>0.05). The sustained response of females exhibited a larger amplitude (wave F, P<0.05) and a shorter latency (wave D, E, and F, P<0.05) than in males, except for the amplitude of peak D and E (P>0.05). The latencies of speech-ABR were positively correlated with testosterone level (P<0.05), and were negatively correlated with estradiol (E2) levels (P<0.05), except for wave E (P>0.05). The E2 showed a positive correlation with the absolute value of amplitude of the speech-ABR (P < 0.05). On the contrary, total testosterone showed a negative correlation with the absolute value of amplitude the speech-ABR (P<0.05), except for wave D and wave O (P>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Sex differences in speech-ABR are significant in adults. The latencies and amplitude of the speech-ABR waves were correlated with the E2 concentration and testosterone level. The sex hormones likely affect speech encoding in the brainstem.

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