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Hearing Threshold Estimation in Infants Using Auditory Steady-State Responses
07 August 2020 (online)
Successful early intervention in children with permanent hearing loss requires assessment techniques that can accurately reflect the behavioral audiogram in infancy. This retrospective study compared auditory steady-state response (ASSR) findings from subjects tested in the first three months of life with subsequently obtained behavioral hearing levels. ASSR audiograms were established using amplitude and frequency modulated tones at octave frequencies (500 Hz to 4 kHz). Results obtained from 575 subjects including 285 with normal hearing, 271 with sensorineural hearing loss, and 19 with auditory neuropathy-type hearing loss are presented. ASSR and behavioral hearing thresholds for subjects in the normal and sensorineural groups were highly correlated, with Pearson r values exceeding 0.95 at each of the test frequencies. In contrast, ASSR thresholds in children with AN-type hearing loss did not accurately reflect the behavioral audiogram. Overall, the findings indicate that ASSR testing can offer useful insights into the hearing acuity of children tested in infancy.