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04-05-2024 | Otology

The curvature quantification of wave I in auditory brainstem responses detects cochlear synaptopathy in human beings

Authors: Florian Herrmann Schmidt, Alexander Dörmann, Karsten Ehrt, Wilma Grossmann, Robert Mlynski, Lichun Zhang

Published in: European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

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Abstract

Purpose

Patients with age-related hearing loss complain often about reduced speech perception in adverse listening environment. Studies on animals have suggested that cochlear synaptopathy may be one of the primary mechanisms responsible for this phenomenon. A decreased wave I amplitude in supra-threshold auditory brainstem response (ABR) can diagnose this pathology non-invasively. However, the interpretation of the wave I amplitude in humans remains controversial. Recent studies in mice have established a robust and reliable mathematic algorithm, i.e., curve curvature quantification, for detecting cochlear synaptopathy. This study aimed to determine whether the curve curvature has sufficient test–retest reliability to detect cochlear synaptopathy in aging humans.

Methods

Healthy participants were recruited into this prospective study. All subjects underwent an audiogram examination with standard and extended high frequencies ranging from 0.125 to 16 kHz and an ABR with a stimulus of 80 dB nHL click. The peak amplitude, peak latency, curvature at the peak, and the area under the curve of wave I were calculated and analyzed.

Results

A total of 80 individuals with normal hearing, aged 18 to 61 years, participated in this study, with a mean age of 26.4 years. Pearson correlation analysis showed a significant negative correlation between curvature and age, as well as between curvature and extended high frequency (EHF) threshold (10–16 kHz). Additionally, the same correlation was observed between age and area as well as age and EHF threshold. The model comparison demonstrated that the curvature at the peak of wave I is the best metric to correlate with EHF threshold.

Conclusion

The curvature at the peak of wave I is the most sensitive metric for detecting cochlear synaptopathy in humans  and may be applied in routine diagnostics to detect early degenerations of the auditory nerve.
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Metadata
Title
The curvature quantification of wave I in auditory brainstem responses detects cochlear synaptopathy in human beings
Authors
Florian Herrmann Schmidt
Alexander Dörmann
Karsten Ehrt
Wilma Grossmann
Robert Mlynski
Lichun Zhang
Publication date
04-05-2024
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Published in
European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Print ISSN: 0937-4477
Electronic ISSN: 1434-4726
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00405-024-08699-6