ISSN 1612-3352

Editors in Chief

Prof. Dr. Claus F. Claussen, Neurootological Research Institute of the Research Society for Smell, Taste, Hearing and Equilibrium Disorders at Bad Kissingen (4-G-F). Bad Kissingen, Germany.
Dr. med. Julia M. Bergmann,
Dr. med. Guillermo O. Bertora,
Otoneuroophthalmological Neurophysiology,
Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Dr. med. Julia M. Bergmann,
Dr. med. Guillermo O. Bertora,
Otoneuroophthalmological Neurophysiology,
Buenos Aires, Argentina.


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Electrically evoked brain-stem response (eabr) examinations on cochlear implanted patients

Abstract

Aftercare of cochlear implant users, programming of the speech processor, the processor program’s most accurate possible and personalized settings are very important for the patients. The task is particularly hard in case of praelingually deaf subjects and in case of children. It has been a demand for long in audiometry to make the measurements independent of the subject’s own subjective experience. Objective audiometry methods can be helpful at the programming of speech processors. We have electrophysiological and other objective audiometric methods (stapedius reflex test, brainstem evoked response audiometry, neural response telemetry) that can help us to measure the objective level and threshold of hearing, but not all of them is adapted to the special needs of cochlear implant users. With the help of these methods the programming can be more accurate and personalized. We have introduced and using the intra- and postoperative stapedius-reflex tests and the neural response telemetry tests with success.
The aim of our current measurements was to analyze the electrically evoked brainstem responses (eABR) that were applied through the implant system. We carried out our measurements on ten cochlear implant users. The eABR’s were recorded with a Dantec Counterpoint Mk2 EMG-EP system. Stimulation was done through the cochlear implant, with a standard PC. The PC was connected to the EP system in order to have proper triggering and synchronize the two systems. The measurements were started near or at the subjects’ comfort levels and the intensity was decreased until the hearing threshold levels were reached.
We found that the eABR’s follow the changes of the threshold levels in agreement with the neural response telemetry measurements. Since the stimulation can be quicker and the system doesn’t need that much repetition numbers, the examinations can be successful in a very short time. In the case of our group of patients the electrical hearing threshold level correlated very well with the hearing threshold level obtained from eABR measurements. These examinations produce us frequency-specific information in a short time on the electrophysiological state of the subjects’ hearing.

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