Stimulated acoustic emissions were recorded in a consecutive series of 20 full-term and otherwise normal neonates with the equipment and method previously used in adults. One ear randomly chosen was tested in each baby, and otoscopy and tympanometry were normal in all ears. A 2 kHz click stimulus was presented with a repetition rate of 10/sec and the recordings were performed at three intensities, i.e. 70, 50 and -20 dBatt (dBatt approximately dB p.e. SPL). The 50 dB recording was repeated for check of reproducibility. A clear and reproducible response could be identified from all ears at 50 dBatt. However, as in the adults, the response pattern differed significantly from one ear to another, both regarding the number of 'echoes', their latencies, response amplitudes, and frequency content. The 'echo' group latencies and amplitudes were within the same range as in normal adults and the amplitude input-output curves exhibited a clear non-linearity. The relationship between latency and frequency was just as ambiguous as in the adults. Also, in the neonates, the cross correlation analysis proved to be an efficient method to indicate whether or not a true response was present. The results from this investigation are compared with those described in the literature from other audiological tests and it is concluded that the recording of the stimulated acoustic emissions could be applicable as a screening procedure in newborns.
Scandinavian Audiology, 1983, Vol 12, Issue 1, p. 17-24