Does Hyperandrogenism Affect the Otoacoustic Emissions and Medial Olivocochlear Reflex in Female Adults?

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Abstract

Hypothesis

To evaluate the effects of hyperandrogenism on otoacoustic emission levels and the medial olivocochlear reflex in adult female subjects.

Background

Women have a hearing advantage over men. Otoacoustic emission levels tend to be higher in female subjects, in both newborns and adults. This discrepancy has been presumed to result from prenatal androgen exposure in male subjects.

Methods

The study involved 37 polycystic ovary syndrome patients who were referred from the endocrinology department and 26 healthy volunteers. All participants who showed normal otoscopic findings, hearing thresholds, and acoustic admittance were included. All polycystic ovary syndrome patients showed biochemical signs of hyperandrogenism. Cochlear activity of participants was evaluated by means of distortion product otoacoustic emissions and transient otoacoustic emissions. The medial olivocochlear reflex was evoked with contralateral acoustic stimulation and recorded with distortion product otoacoustic emissions and transient otoacoustic emissions.

Results

Neither distortion products nor transient otoacoustic emission levels showed a statistically significant difference between the right and left ears (p > 0.05). Comparisons of distortion products and transient otoacoustic emission levels between the patient and control groups showed no statistically significant difference (p > 0.05). Comparison of the medial olivocochlear reflex response between the 2 groups also revealed no statistically significant difference (p > 0.05).

Conclusion

Hyperandrogenism did not seem to influence otoacoustic emission levels or the medial olivocochlear reflex response in adult female subjects.

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