Age and rate of acoustic stimulation affect peak latencies in brainstem auditory evoked responses (BAER) in humans. Those effects are unknown in foals.Hypothesis/Objectives:
Our goals were to (1) establish reference values for BAER in foals by using 3 different stimulation protocols, (2) evaluate the effects of age and stimulation frequencies on BAER tracing in foals up to 6 months old, and (3) compare the data with BAER obtained from foals with central nervous system (CNS) disorders.Animals:
Thirty-nine neurologically normal foals and 16 foals with neurologic diseases.Methods:
Prospective observational clinical study. BAER recorded by using 3 protocols of stimulation (11.33 repetitions per second [Hz]/70 decibel normal hearing level [dBNHL]; 11.33 Hz/90 dBNHL; 90 Hz/70 dBNHL).Results:
No effect of age was observed in normal foals (P > .005). No significant difference was observed for latencies and interpeak latencies (IPL) when comparing foals with neurologic diseases and normal foals (P > .05), but 78.6% of foals with neurologic diseases had an asymmetry in their tracing, reflecting a difference in conduction time between the left and right side of the brainstem. Increasing the stimulation rate did not improve detection of CNS disorders.Conclusions and Clinical Importance:
We propose BAER reference values for foals up to 6 months of age by using 3 protocols. Most foals with neurologic deficits had abnormal BAER tracing.