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Scand Audiol. 1993;22(3):153-8.

The effect of hearing loss on ABR interpretation: use of a correction factor.

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Department of Otolaryngology, University of Toronto, London, Ontario, Canada.


Patients suspected of retrocochlear disorders often have abnormal ABRs in the presence of high-frequency hearing loss, making clinical decisions difficult. In a retrospective study of the ABR test results of 1539 patients, the false-positive and false-negative rates for ABR are presented as a function of hearing loss at 4000 Hz, both before and after using Selters and Brackmann's correction factor for hearing loss. For patients with more than 50 db HL at 4000 Hz the false-positive and false-negative rates, uncorrected for hearing loss, were 25.0% and 2.9% respectively, and when the correction factor was used were 12.5% and 5.8%. When hearing loss at 4000 Hz was over 90 dB the ABR was abnormal in 75% of nontumor patients. Conclusions are that a correction factor for hearing loss is helpful with reservations, and that ABR is not a useful test when 4000 Hz hearing loss is greater than 90 dB HL and 2000 Hz is greater than 75 dB HL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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