Tone Burst Auditory Brain Stem Response Latency Estimates of Cochlear Travel Time in Meniere's Disease, Cochlear Hearing Loss, and Normal Ears

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Objective: The current study sought to determine whether tone burst auditory brain stem response (ABR) latencies could be used to detect an increase in the cochlear traveling wave velocity in patients with Meniere's disease.

Background: It has been proposed that the derived band ABR technique can be used to show an increase in cochlear traveling wave velocity in patients with Meniere's disease. The current study sought to replicate these findings using tone burst ABR at frequencies of 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 8 kHz and intensities from 40–100 dB hearing loss (HL) in 10-dB steps.

Methods: Wave V latency differences between adjacent frequencies were taken to represent the time it takes the traveling wave to travel between the “place” on the basilar membrane where these two frequencies are represented. Thirty-two subjects participated in the project consisting of 10 with normal hearing, 10 with cochlear HL (not caused by Meniere's disease), and 12 with Meniere's disease.

Results: There were no significant differences in absolute wave V latencies or in wave V latency differences (travel time estimates) between the groups (repeated measures analysis of variance, p > 0.05).

Conclusion: These results suggest that wave V latencies and estimates of cohlear travel time cannot be used to distinguish Meniere's diseae from other forms of cochlear HL or from normal-hearing ears. The results of this study differ from those using the derived band ABR technique. This difference may be because of the disease state of the authors' subjects or differences in stimulus paradigm.

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