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Long-Term Effects of Acoustic Trauma on Electrically Evoked Otoacoustic Emission

Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology
Publication Date
  • Chemistry
  • Musicology
  • Physics


Electrically evoked otoacoustic emissions (EEOAEs) are sounds measured in the ear canal when alternating current (AC) stimulation is passed into the cochlea. These sounds are attributed to the motile responses of outer hair cells (OHCs). The EEOAE has characteristic amplitude, phase, and fine structure. Multicomponent analysis of the EEOAE shows short (SDC) and long delay components (LDC) that are thought to originate from OHCs near the AC stimulating site and from OHCs at more remote locations, respectively. We measured the effects of various loud noise exposures on the EEOAE and the cochlear whole-nerve action potential (CAP) in animals chronically implanted with a scala tympani electrode. Noise exposures that produced permanent (PTS) or temporary threshold shifts (TTS) were associated with frequency-specific changes in CAP thresholds, EEOAE fine structure, and reductions in the amplitude of the LDC. A frequent observation in this study was an increase in the overall EEOAE amplitude after the noise exposure. The increase was correlated with increased SDC amplitude. The SDC was present in animals chemically treated with ototoxic drugs and mechanical damage to the cochlea. The SDC was eliminated after disarticulation of the ossicular chain. The presence of EEOAE fine structure in the postexposure response is an indicator of TTS in advance of CAP recovery. The results suggest that the EEOAE might be used to differentiate the mechanisms associated with TTS and PTS.

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