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Comparison of distortion product otoacoustic emissions with auditory brain-stem response for clinical use in neonatal intensive care unit.

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Department of Pediatrics, Kansai Medical University, Osaka, Japan.



This study compares the clinical usefulness of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) with the auditory brain-stem response (ABR) for neonates in the neonatal intensive care unit for the evaluation of hearing impairment.


Both DPOAEs and ABR were performed on 36 neonates (67 ears) on the same day. We defined neonates as having normal hearing when the thresholds of wave V of ABR were < or =45 dB hearing level.


(1) We could not obtain DPOAEs at f2 = 977 Hz in neonates with normal hearing because of high noise floors. DPOAE recording time was 36 min shorter than that of ABR. (2) We defined as normal DPOAEs, the number of frequencies which showed the DPgram-noise floor > or =4 dB was > or =4 at 6 f2 frequencies, from 1416 Hz to 7959 Hz. (3) Normal thresholds of ABR and normal DPOAEs showed the same percentages, i.e. 68.7%, but the percentage of different results between ABR and DPOAEs was 6.0%.


Our study indicates that DPOAEs represent a simple procedure, which can be easily performed in the NICU to obtain reliable results in high-risk neonates. Results obtained by DPOAEs were comparable to those obtained by the more complex procedure of ABR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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