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01 June 2011

Post-processing analysis of transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions to detect 4 kHz-notch hearing impairment – a pilot study

Giovanna ZimatoreABCD, Anna Rita FetoniABDEFG, Gaetano PaludettiDEF, Marta CavagnaroACD, Maria Vittoria PoddaDEF, Diana TroianiACDEFG

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881793

Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(6): MT41-49

Abstract

Background: To identify a parameter to distinguish normal hearing from hearing impairment in the early stages. The parameter was obtained from transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs), overcoming the limitations of the usually adopted waveform descriptive parameters which may fail in standard clinical screenings.
Material/Methods: Audiometric examinations and TEOAE analysis were conducted on 15 normal ears and on 14 hearing-impaired ears that exhibited an audiometric notch around 4 kHz. TEOAE signals were analyzed through a multivariate technique to filter out the individual variability and to highlight the dynamic structure of the signals. The new parameter (named radius 2-dimension – RAD2D) was defined and evaluated for simulated TEOAE signals modeling a different amount of hearing impairment.
Results: Audiometric examinations indicated 14 ears as impaired-hearing (IH), while the TEOAE ILO92 whole reproducibility parameter (WWR) indicated as IH 7 signals out of 14 (50%). The proposed new parameter indicated as IH 9 signals out of 14 (64%), reducing the number of false negative cases of WWR.
Conclusions: In this preliminary study there is evidence that the new parameter RAD2D defines the topology and the quantification of the damage in the inner ear. The proposed protocol can be useful in hearing screenings to identify hearing impairments much earlier than conventional pure tone audiometry and TEOAE pass/fail test.

Keywords: Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous - physiology, Hearing Loss - physiopathology, Basilar Membrane - physiopathology, Auditory Threshold - physiology, Audiometry, Pure-Tone - methods, Acoustic Stimulation, Pilot Projects, Reference Standards

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750