Objectives: We tested the clinical effectiveness of multiple auditory steady-state responses (ASSRs) for the objective assessment of hearing thresholds in patients with and without hearing loss, candidates for cochlear implants, and children with auditory neuropathy. Methods: The study sample included 29 subjects with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), 18 candidates for cochlear implants, 11 subjects with auditory neuropathy, and 18 subjects with normal hearing thresholds. Behavioral hearing thresholds and ASSRs to carrier frequencies of 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz were obtained. Special care was taken to minimize possible aliasing and high-intensity multiple stimulation effects. Differences and correlations between the ASSRs and the behavioral thresholds were determined. Results: The ASSR estimation of behavioral thresholds in the normal-hearing group was elevated, whereas very close predictions were found for the SNHL group. The correlations between the two measures ranged from 0.86 at 0.5 kHz carrier frequency to 0.94 at 2 kHz. In the cochlear implant candidates and the auditory neuropathy group, the ASSR thresholds generally overestimated the behavioral audiogram. In these groups the number of detected ASSRs was higher than the number of behavioral responses, especially for the high-frequency carrier stimuli. Conclusions: Multiple ASSRs may reliably predict the behavioral threshold in subjects with SNHL and may serve as a valuable objective measure for assessing the hearing threshold across different frequencies in candidates for cochlear implants and children with auditory neuropathy.
- Auditory neuropathy
- Auditory steady-state response
- Cochlear implant
- Hearing loss