How Odense University Hospital use otoacoustic emissions (OAEs)

25 June 2021

Odense University Hospital (OUH) in Denmark is one of many hospitals that use otoacoustic emission (OAE) measurements to supplement other hearing tests. This is because OAEs can provide exclusive information on cochlear function.

When performing OAE measurements, you are testing how the patient’s cochlea responds to sound. At OUH’s hearing clinic, Carl Christian Pedersen, Audiologist, and Dr. Emilija Meskiene perform OAE measurements every day.

“In children and adults that are poor at indicating their hearing threshold, we use DPOAE to supplement the audiogram. We also use DPOAE in newborns that are referred for an extended hearing screening,” Dr. Emilija Meskiene says. 

Carl Christian Pedersen continues, saying:

“The measurement is fast and is easy for the patients. It is objective, which can be an advantage in cases of questionable hearing thresholds. We usually perform DPOAE as the last test to supplement the other hearing tests.”

According to Carl Christian Pedersen, you cannot look at OAE measurements alone:

“In no circumstances do we choose DPOAE instead of other tests. But DPOAE is a good supplement to the rest of the test battery. It does not suffice on its own as it does not paint a full picture of the patient’s hearing ability. That’s why it should be used together with audiometry or auditory electrophysiology.”

 

OAE for ototoxic monitoring

Clinical OAE measurements can also be used in medical patients, such as cancer patients. Their hearing can be affected by the medical treatment, so it is important to monitor their hearing ability.

Therefore, OUH has started the ‘Platinum Project’, which specifically relates to chemotherapy patients, who are often treated with platinum.

Dr. Emilija Meskiene elaborates:

“The Platinum Project will investigate if DPOAE can suffice for screening purposes in normal-hearing patients before and after their platinum treatment. We will also investigate if DPOAE is more sensitive to platinum-induced lesions than normal- and high-frequency audiometry.”

Charlotte Ellemose Sonne
Charlotte Ellemose Sonne is a Master of Linguistics and Communication (cand.ling.merc.), having graduated from Aarhus University in 2004. Before joining Interacoustics, Charlotte's working experience included, among other, a seven year stay at DONG Energy (now Ørsted) as a Language Specialist.

Published: 25 June 2021
Modified: 19 October 2022

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