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Assessing the applications of cortical auditory evoked potentials as a biomarker in children with hearing aids




Cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) are noninvasive measures used to quantify central auditory system function in humans. More specifically, the P1-N1-P2 CAEP has a unique role in identifying a central auditory system that has benefited from amplification or implantation. P1 reflects the maturation of the auditory system in general as it has developed over time.


The objective of this study was to assess the CAEP in children with hearing aids versus age-matched controls, and to compare the pattern of P1 CAEP in patients with hearing aids versus those with cochlear implants.

Materials and methods

Twenty hearing-impaired children (using their own binaural digital hearing aids) were compared with 20 age-matched and sex-matched children with normal hearing. In both groups, P1 CAEP latency and waveform morphology were recorded by free-field auditory stimulation using tone bursts at 500 and 2000 Hz at 100 dB sound pressure level. Finally, P1 CAEP was compared between patients using hearing aids and 20 children with cochlear implants.


We have assessed the use of P1 latency and CAEP waveform morphology in a total of 20 children with hearing aids as a biomarker for the development of the central auditory pathway in patients with hearing loss. Children using hearing aids exhibited an exponential decay in P1 latencies, indicating an overall delay in maturation when compared with that in children with normal hearing. There was no statistically significant difference as regards P1 latencies and amplitudes between cochlear implant and hearing aid users, who showed statistically significantly higher mean values compared with the normal group.


Children’s auditory systems develop comparatively as long as they are receiving appropriate amplification, whether this is through a cochlear implant or through the use of hearing aids. The P1 CAEP test can be applied as a tool in the diagnosis of central processing disorders in children with hearing impairments fitted with cochlear implants or hearing aids. This information will be useful when monitoring a child’s progress with his hearing device and in auditory training.


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Correspondence to Hoda Mahmoud Weheiba MD.

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Mostafa, I.Z., Shabana, M.I., El Shennawy, A.M. et al. Assessing the applications of cortical auditory evoked potentials as a biomarker in children with hearing aids. Egypt J Otolaryngol 30, 38–42 (2014).

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