Semin Hear 2000; 21(4): 379-388
DOI: 10.1055/s-2000-13469
Copyright © 2000 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Tel.: +1(212) 584-4662


Stig Arlinger
  • Department of Audiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
31 December 2000 (online)


Audiologic diagnosis for infants requires an extensive test battery in order to provide all the information needed and wanted. Behavioral test methods continue to be an important tool, in particular visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA), with the limitation that children younger than 5 to 6 months of age cannot be expected to respond in a reliable way. Impedance audiometry provides an important means of assessing middle ear status, and the middle ear reflex also adds information about inner ear and cochlear nerve function. However, a higher probe tone frequency than the ordinary 226 Hz seems to provide more reliable test results in small children. Otoacoustic emissions are basic as a screening tool but in most cases provide little additional information on children with significant hearing loss, although there certainly are exceptions. The electrophysiologic methods form a very important part of the test battery. The recording of ABR is an obvious test when a hearing impairment is suspected. Electrocochleography provides more frequency-specific data and has the power of sometimes providing responses where no ABR can be recorded, especially when the transtympanic needle electrode is used. Steady-state evoked potentials (SSEP) constitute a relatively new test method with which rather few clinics so far have practical experience, but it certainly holds promise as an addition to the test battery allowing good frequency specificity and efficiency.