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Authors Riggs WJ, Roche JP, Giardina CK, Harris MS, Bastian ZJ, Fontenot TE, Buchman CA, Brown KD, Adunka OF, Fitzpatrick DC
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Journal Front Neurosci Volume: 11 Pages: 416
Publish Date 2017
PubMed ID 28769753
PMC ID 5515907

Auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) is characterized by an apparent discrepancy between measures of cochlear and neural function based on auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing. Clinical indicators of ANSD are a present cochlear microphonic (CM) with small or absent wave V. Many identified ANSD patients have speech impairment severe enough that cochlear implantation (CI) is indicated. To better understand the cochleae identified with ANSD that lead to a CI, we performed intraoperative round window electrocochleography (ECochG) to tone bursts in children (n = 167) and adults (n = 163). Magnitudes of the responses to tones of different frequencies were summed to measure the “total response” (ECochG-TR), a metric often dominated by hair cell activity, and auditory nerve activity was estimated visually from the compound action potential (CAP) and auditory nerve neurophonic (ANN) as a ranked “Nerve Score”. Subjects identified as ANSD (45 ears in children, 3 in adults) had higher values of ECochG-TR than adult and pediatric subjects also receiving CIs not identified as ANSD. However, nerve scores of the ANSD group were similar to the other cohorts, although dominated by the ANN to low frequencies more than in the non-ANSD groups. To high frequencies, the common morphology of ANSD cases was a large CM and summating potential, and small or absent CAP. Common morphologies in other groups were either only a CM, or a combination of CM and CAP. These results indicate that responses to high frequencies, derived primarily from hair cells, are the main source of the CM used to evaluate ANSD in the clinical setting. However, the clinical tests do not capture the wide range of neural activity seen to low frequency sounds.

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