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Sources of variability in auditory brain stem evoked potential measures over time.


Auditory brain stem EPs elicited in 10 normal adults by monaural clicks delivered at 72 dB HL, 20/sec showed no significant change in wave latencies or in the ratio of wave I to wave Y amplitude across 250 trial subsets, across 250 trial subsets, across 1500 trial blocks within a test session, or across two test sessions separated by several months. Sources of maximum variability were determined by using mean squared differences with all but one condition constant. 'Subjects' was shown to contribute the most variability followed by 'ears', 'sessions' and 'runs'; collapsing across conditions, wave III latencies were found to be the least variable, while wave II showed the most variability. Some EP morphologies showed extra peaks between waves II and IV, missing wave IV or wave IV fused with wave V. Such variations in wave form morphology were independent of EMG amplitude and were characteristic of certain individuals.

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