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Assessment of hearing in infants with moderate to profound impairment: the Melbourne experience with auditory steady-state evoked potential testing.

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Department of Otolaryngology, University of Melbourne, and the Bionic Ear Institute, Australia.


Auditory steady-state evoked potential (ASSEP) testing has been used in the assessment of hearing in infants at the University of Melbourne School of Audiology Clinic during the past 10 years. This study examines the evoked potential and behavioral hearing test findings for 200 children in whom permanent, moderate to profound hearing loss was diagnosed with the ASSEP procedure. The ASSEP audiograms were obtained with amplitude and frequency modulated tones at octave frequencies (500 to 4,000 Hz). In 184 infants, the hearing loss appeared to be of sensorineural origin. For these children, there was a strong correlation between ASSEP findings and behavioral thresholds, with Pearson r coefficients ranging from 0.81 to 0.93 with test frequency. As such, the ASSEP findings obtained in the first months of life were accurate enough to form a basis for fitting amplification and early intervention. For the 16 children whose hearing loss appeared to be the result of auditory neuropathy, however, ASSEP thresholds showed little or no relationship to the behavioral audiogram.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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