Timothy C. Hain, MD
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April 5, 2014
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Electroaudiometry is a method of determining if the cochlear nerve is working. It is a subjective test method, similar to audiometry itself. (Liard et al, 1988)
The stimulating electrode is placed in the external ear canal prefilled with saline. The patient determines the electrical current that causes a sensation of hearing. This technique is generally proposed as being less painful for potential cochlear implant users than promentory electrodes. (Takanami et al, 2009; Spies et al, 1993). A potential drawback is that it may produce a "vibrotactile" type response -- in other words, people can feel the shock in their ear.
A variant is to use the electrical current to detect a brainstem potential (Gaddam et al, 2008; Knaus, C., et al. 2000; Hartman et al, 1994). This is of course technically more challenging due to artifact.
This technique also may be useful in the future to help select patients for hair cell regeneration treatment. One would not want a patient whose auditory nerve was not working.
- Brokx, J. P., et al. (1988). "Relations between audiometrical thresholds of potential cochlear implant patients and their performance in preoperative psycho-physical tests with electrical stimulation." Scand Audiol 17(4): 217-222.
- Gaddam, A. and J. A. Ferraro (2008). "ABR recordings in newborns using an ear canal electrode." Int J Audiol 47(8): 499-504.
- Hartmann, R., et al. (1994). "Evoked potentials from the auditory nerve following sinusoidal electrical stimulation of the cochlea: new possibilities for preoperative testing in cochlear-implant candidates?" Acta Otolaryngol 114(5): 495-500.
- Khan, S., et al. (1995). "Comparison of a promontory stimulation test using a transtympanic needle electrode with a test using an ear canal electrode." Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol Suppl 166: 190-192.
- Knaus, C., et al. (2000). "A novel outer ear canal electrode for noninvasive electrical stimulation of the cochlear nerve in preoperative evaluation for cochlear implants in adults and children." Adv Otorhinolaryngol 57: 152-156.
- Liard, P., et al. (1988). "Noninvasive extratympanic electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve." ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec 50(3): 156-161.
- Lesinski, A., et al. (1997). "Comparison of preoperative electrostimulation data using an ear-canal electrode and a promontory needle electrode." Am J Otol 18(6 Suppl): S88-89.
- Spies, T. H., et al. (1993). "Ear canal electrodes versus promontory electrodes in preoperative electrical stimulation for cochlear implant selection." Adv Otorhinolaryngol 48: 108-113.
- Spies, T. H., et al. (1993). "Preoperative electrical stimulation for cochlear implant selection. The use of ear canal electrodes versus transtympanic electrodes." Acta Otolaryngol 113(5): 579-584.
- Takanami, T., et al. (2009). "Comparison of Electroaudiometry with cochlear implant in children with inner ear anomaly." Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 73(1): 153-158.
- Wagner, H., et al. (1995). "Preoperative assessment of function of the auditory nerve using electroaudiometry and a notched-noise auditory brain stem response technique." Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol Suppl 166: 198-201.
August 3, 2016
, Timothy C. Hain, M.D.
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August 3, 2016