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Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response or Auditory Brainstem Response


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Assesses auditory function through the level of the brainstem. Appropriate for birth through adulthood.

The auditory system is stimulated by a brief acoustic signal via air or bone conduction. The resulting neuro-electric activity is recorded by surface electrodes placed on the head. The response is assessed based on the identification of component waves, their morphology, and the measurement of absolute and interwave latencies.

Provides ear-specific information and some frequency-specific information about hearing acuity within 5-10 dB of behavioral thresholds. Also can detect retrocochlear pathologies.

Sample test results

Sample Test Result

Requires infants to be in sleep state. Can assess infants in natural sleep up to about 4 months of age. Older infants and young children require sedation.

Folsom, R. C., & Diefendorf, A. O. (1999). Physiologic and behavioral approaches to pediatric hearing assessment, Pediatric Clinics of North America, 46(1), 107-20.

Ruth, R. A., & Lambert, P. R. (1991). Auditory evoked potentials, Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America, 24(2), 349-70.

Barker, S. E., Lesperance, M. M., & Kileny, P. (2000). Outcome of Newborn Hearing Screening by ABR Compared With Four Different DPOAE Pass Criteria, American Journal of Audiology, 9, 142-148.

Van Riper, L. & Kileny, P.R. (1999). ABR Hearing Screening for High-Risk Infants, American Journal of Otology, 20, 516-521.

Kileny, P. & Magathan, M. (1987). Predictive value of ABR in infants and children with moderate to profound hearing impairment, Ear & Hearing, 8(4), 217-221.