Training in OAE

Pressurized otoacoustic emissions in infants and toddlers

10 mins
08 February 2022


Summary of: Prieve, B. A., Calandruccio, L., Fitzgerald, T., Mazevski, A., & Georgantas, L. M. (2008). Changes in transient-evoked otoacoustic emission levels with negative tympanometric peak pressure in infants and toddlersEar and hearing29(4), 533–542.

Otoacoustic emission (OAE) testing is standard in the diagnostic test battery for infants and toddlers. OAE reflect the response of the outer hair cells and are good indicators for the health of the cochlea. OAEs evoked by a transient signal are referred to as transient-evoked OAEs (TEOAEs). The frequent occurrence of negative middle-ear pressure in infants and toddlers may decrease the TEOAE amplitude. The current study compares TEOAEs within the same child across 11 children from when negative middle-ear pressure is normal to when it is negative. The purpose of this study is threefold: 1) to determine if TEOAE levels in toddlers and infants decrease with the presence of negative middle-ear pressure as identified via tympanometric peak pressure (TPP), 2) to explore the existence of a linear relationship between negative TPP and TEOAE level, and 3) to observe the effect of negative TPP on TEOAE pass rates. Results indicate that TEOAE levels are reduced when TPP is negative and that this reduction is observed similarly across the measured frequency range between 1 and 4 kHz. Also, TEOAE level reduction is not linearly related to negative TPP. Finally, using a TEOAE emission-to-noise pass criteria of 3 dB, the pass rate was affected by negative TPP in 5 or 6% or cases. These results suggest that compensating for negative middle-ear pressure stands the best chance for maximizing the TEOAE level in infants and toddlers.


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