Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR): Estimation of Auditory Thresholds

The ABR offers a clinically feasible technique for frequency-specific estimation of auditory thresholds in infants and young children. Information provided by ABR is essential for early (before 6 months of age) identification and diagnosis of pediatric hearing loss. This and other applications of ABR are reviewed in depth in my New Handbook of Auditory Evoked Responses. The value of ABR in pediatric hearing is practically summarized in Objective Assessment of Hearing. Click on highlighted articles below for a quick read of specific ABR clinical applications. You can also view PPT presentations about pediatric applications of ABR, including tone burst and bone conduction ABR measurement.

To get you started, here's an abstract from one of the lectures I delivered recently on the topic at a state academy of audiology convention.

Abstract: Early identification of infant hearing loss is essential for prompt and optimal intervention. This session begins with an argument for combining OAE and ABR technology for infant hearing screening, consistent with 2007 Joint Committee on Infant Hearing recommendations. Then a protocol and test strategies are presented for estimating in a reasonable time period (less than 45 minutes) with ABR frequency specific auditory thresholds. The role of old electro-acoustic techniques (e.g., aural immittance measures) and newer electro-physiologic procedures (e.g., ASSR) in pediatric audiology will also be critically reviewed. Guidelines for recording un-sedated ABRs from infants and young children will also be described. Auditory neuropathy must always be considered in the diagnosis of infant hearing loss. The session will include a review of test strategies for identification and diagnosis of auditory neuropathy, including application of ECochG.

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