In patients with unilateral tinnitus with normal hearing, several studies have compared the ipsilateral and contralateral ears; however, few studies have investigated its relationship with the duration of tinnitus. We compared the auditory brainstem response and otoacoustic emission parameters between ipsilateral and contralateral ears in adults with unilateral tinnitus and normal hearing.
This retrospective review included 84 patients with unilateral tinnitus and normal hearing who underwent auditory brainstem response and otoacoustic emission; they were categorized according to the duration of tinnitus. The latencies and amplitudes of waves I, III, and V, and V/I ratio of both ears in auditory brainstem response, and the results of distortion-product otoacoustic emission and transient evoked otoacoustic emission were examined. The auditory brainstem response parameters, distortion-product otoacoustic emission parameters, and transient evoked otoacoustic emission parameters between the ipsilateral and contralateral ears along the duration of tinnitus were analyzed. Moreover, the failure rates of both distortion-product otoacoustic emission and transient evoked otoacoustic emission between the ears along with the duration and the effects of the variables on the amplitude and latency of each wave were examined.
In this study, laterality seemed to have an effect on wave I latency in the multiple linear regression analysis. The distortion-product otoacoustic emission failure rate of the ipsilateral ear was higher than that of the contralateral ear in all patients. However, there was no remarkable difference between the ears in the distortion-product otoacoustic emission and transient evoked otoacoustic emission parameters throughout the duration.
We found that outer hair cells and the distal portion of the cochlear nerve are possible pathologic lesions in tinnitus with normal hearing and cochlear synaptopathy could be suspected. Further studies, including those on inner hair cells and higher central cortex, are needed.
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Published online: December 08, 2022
Accepted: November 28, 2022
Received: October 3, 2022
Publication stageIn Press Corrected Proof
© 2022 Japanese Society of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Inc. Published by Elsevier B.V.