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Several studies indicate that small changes in the medial olivocochlear (MOC) reflex may possibly be associated with certain pathologies. This could be measured by using contralateral acoustic stimulation (CAS) and observing suppression in otoacoustic emissions (OEAs). The main aim of this study was to investigate reliability of the MOC reflex while using transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOEAs) with white noise as CAS. The reliability was assessed by calculating the standard error of measurement and minimum detectable change. TEOEAs and spontaneous OAEs (SOAEs) were tested in 51 normally hearing three-to-six-year-old girls. SOAEs were present in 39 ears and absent in 12 ears. Several analyses were performed, including measurement of the MOC reflex in two time windows, 2.5-20ms and 8-18ms. Similarly to other studies, greater suppression was recorded for a narrower time window, but the difference was significant only for 2kHz. The results indicated that to obtain more reliable MOC measurements, the signal-to-noise ratio should exceed 20 dB which is difficult to reach if SOASs are not present. Although TOAEs suppression increased for the narrower time window, reliability decreased at the same time. In general, the reliability of the OEAs suppression was low in the measurement conditions used in this study, which makes identifying the small MOC reflex effect difficult. Authors suggested that more research towards modifying the measurements setting would be needed in order improve reliability.

Reliability of contralateral suppression of otoacoustic emissions in children.
Jedrzejczak WW, Pilka E, Skarzynski PH, Skarzynski H.
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Joanna Lemanska

De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

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