Can speech-evoked Auditory Brainstem Response become a useful tool in clinical practice?

Caroline Nunes Rocha-Muniz Renata Filippini Ivone Ferreira Neves-Lobo Camila Maia Rabelo Aline Albuquerque Morais Cristina Ferraz Borges Murphy Karenina Santos Calarga Libia Camargo Ribeiro Leite Mayra Monteiro Pires Taise Argolo Sena-Yoshinaga Eliane Schochat About the authors

RESUMO

Objetivo:

Discutir a aplicabilidade clínica do Potencial Evocado Auditivo com Estímulo de Fala (PEATEf) no auxílio à identificação dos transtornos do processamento auditivo.

Métodos

: Foram selecionados os prontuários de 27 crianças e adolescentes, com idade entre sete e 15 anos, que apresentaram alteração no PEATEf. Foram levantados os dados referentes à avaliação comportamental do processamento auditivo desses indivíduos.

Resultados:

Observou-se que das 27 crianças com PEATEf alterado, 23 também apresentaram alteração de processamento auditivo. A partir dessa amostra, foi possível apontar probabilidade de 85,15% em observar avaliação comportamental do processamento auditivo alterada em uma criança que apresentou PEATEf também alterado.

Conclusão:

Sugere-se que o PEATEf pode ser utilizado na prática clínica como uma ferramenta importante no diagnóstico do Transtorno do Processamento Auditivo, uma vez que neste estudo uma alteração do PEATEf quase sempre representou, também, uma alteração nos resultados da avaliação comportamental do processamento auditivo, portanto pode ser utilizado para obter informações acerca da percepção dos sons da fala em crianças menores de sete anos ou de difícil avaliação comportamental.

Descritores:
Potenciais Evocados Auditivos; Vias Auditivas; Transtornos da Percepção Auditiva; Eletrofisiologia; Criança.

ABSTRACT

Purpose

: To discuss the clinical applicability of the speech-evoked Auditory Brainstem Response (speech-evoked ABR) to help identifying auditory processing disorders.

Methods

: We analyzed the records of 27 children and adolescents, aged between seven and 15, who presented abnormal speech-evoked ABR. Then, the data from the behavioral auditory processing evaluation of these individuals were surveyed.

Results

: It was observed that, among the 27 children with abnormal speech-evoked ABR, 23 also had auditory processing disorders. Therefore, from this sample, an 85.15% probability of observing abnormal behavioral assessment of auditory processing in a child who presented abnormal speech-evoked ABR was obtained.

Conclusion

: It is argued that the speech-evoked ABR can be used in clinical practice as an important aid tool in the diagnosis of auditory processing disorder, because, in this study, an abnormal speech-evoked ABR usually represented a deficit in the results of behavioral assessment of auditory processing. Thus, it can be used to obtain information about the perception of speech sounds in children under seven years or with challenging behavioral assessment.

Keywords:
Evoked Potentials Auditory; Auditory Pathways; Auditory Perceptual Disorders; Electrophysiology; Child.

INTRODUCTION

Approximately 35 years ago, Greenberg11. Greenberg S. Temporal neural coding of pitch and vowel quality. Department of Linguistics, UCLA. Working Papers in Phonetics.1980; 52. presented the first study using speech as a stimulus in Auditory Brainstem Response (speech-evoked ABR) to the scientific community, and demonstrated that specific acoustic information of speech sounds is codified by ABR with great accuracy. In Brazil, speech-evoked ABR has been studied for approximately 10 years, and has only a few publications22. Filippini R, Schochat E. Potenciais evocados auditivos de tronco encefálico com estímulo de fala no transtorno do processamento auditivo. Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2009;75(3):449-55. 33. Rocha CN, Filippini R, Moreira RM, Neves IF, Schochat E. Potencial evocado auditivo de tronco encefálico com estímulo de fala. Pró-Fono R Atual Cient. 2010;22(4):479-83. 44. Gonçalves IC, Wertzner HF, Samelli AG, Matas CG. Speech and non-speech processing in children with phonological disorders: an electrophysiological study. Clinics. 2011;66:293-8. 55. Filippini R, Befi-Lopes DM, Schochat E. Efficacy of Auditory Training Using the Auditory Brainstem Response to Complex Sounds: Auditory Processing Disorder and Specific Language Impairment. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica. 2012;64:217-26. 66. Rocha-Muniz CN, Befi-Lopes DM, Schochat E. Investigation of auditory processing disorder and language impairment using the speech-evoked auditory brainstem response. Hearing Research. 2012;294:143-52..

Researchers have been trying to establish reliable normative criteria for speech-evoked ABR response parameters77. Rocha-Muniz CN, Befi-Lopes DM, Schochat E. Sensitivity, specificity and efficiency of speech-evoked ABR. Hearing Research. 2014;317:15-22. 88. Hornickel J, Chandrasekaran B, Zecker S, Kraus N. Auditory brainstem measures predict reading and speech-innoise perception in school-aged children. Behavioural Brain Research. 2011;216(2):597-605. 99. Hornickel J, Kraus N. Objective Biological Measures for the Assessment and Management of Auditory Processing Disorder. Current Pediatric Reviews. 2011;7(3):252-61. 1010. King C, Warrier CM, Hayes E, Kraus N. Deficits in auditory brainstem pathway encoding of speech sounds in children with learning problems. Neurosci Lett. 2002;319:111-5., once this potential is capable of representing the acoustic properties of the stimulus (i.e., speech formants are totally preserved in the brain stem response88. Hornickel J, Chandrasekaran B, Zecker S, Kraus N. Auditory brainstem measures predict reading and speech-innoise perception in school-aged children. Behavioural Brain Research. 2011;216(2):597-605. changes in this response may represent changes in the perception of speech characteristics.

Many studies agree as to the association between abnormal responses in speech-evoked ABR and difficulties in speech auditory processing (AP)55. Filippini R, Befi-Lopes DM, Schochat E. Efficacy of Auditory Training Using the Auditory Brainstem Response to Complex Sounds: Auditory Processing Disorder and Specific Language Impairment. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica. 2012;64:217-26. 66. Rocha-Muniz CN, Befi-Lopes DM, Schochat E. Investigation of auditory processing disorder and language impairment using the speech-evoked auditory brainstem response. Hearing Research. 2012;294:143-52. 77. Rocha-Muniz CN, Befi-Lopes DM, Schochat E. Sensitivity, specificity and efficiency of speech-evoked ABR. Hearing Research. 2014;317:15-22. 88. Hornickel J, Chandrasekaran B, Zecker S, Kraus N. Auditory brainstem measures predict reading and speech-innoise perception in school-aged children. Behavioural Brain Research. 2011;216(2):597-605. 99. Hornickel J, Kraus N. Objective Biological Measures for the Assessment and Management of Auditory Processing Disorder. Current Pediatric Reviews. 2011;7(3):252-61.; however, one of the main issues related to this potential refers to its clinical use.

Despite being well established both clinically and scientifically as the main tool used to diagnose Auditory Processing (AP) deficits, the evaluation of AP is influenced by top-down factors (cognition and language), motivation, and fatigue1111. Banai K, Kraus N. Auditory Processing Disorder: An Intersection of Cognitive, Sensory, and Reward Circuits. In: Musiek FE, Chermak GD. Handbook of Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Auditory Neuroscience and Diagnosis. Vol I. San Diego: Plural Publishing Inc; 2014., besides the possibility that other associated disorders may compromise the necessary conditions for the reliability of behavioral responses. Therefore, it is recommended that the auditory processing disorder (APD) be diagnosed carefully on the basis of the analysis of a set of tests and on the support of electrophysiological evaluations1212. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.(Central) Auditory Processing Disorders [Technical Report]. 2005; available from http://www.asha.org/policy.
http://www.asha.org/policy...
.

Thus, considering the variables involved in the establishment of an accurate APD diagnosis and the contributions of speech-evoked ABR to evaluate the elements that underlie the auditory processing of speech, the objective of this study is to discuss the clinical applicability of speech-evoked ABR as an aid to identify APD through the analysis of behavioral evaluation of children with abnormal speech-evoked ABR.

METHODS

This retrospective study used a data survey in an Auditory Processing Diagnostic Center from a public institution. This study was approved by the Ethics Committee (protocol no. 1049/07).

Medical records from 27 individuals, aged between 7 and 15 years old (mean: 10 years), were selected. They presented abnormal speech-evoked ABR and complaints regarding AP, without evidence of neurological or psychiatric changes, and had normal hearing evaluation. The data were surveyed from anamnesis and the behavioral evaluation of the AP.

An speech-evoked ABR was conducted with the Navigator Pro-Bio-Logic , equipped with BioMAP (current BioMARK). The parameters used to obtain speech-evoked ABR were in accordance with criteria previously established in the literature1111. Banai K, Kraus N. Auditory Processing Disorder: An Intersection of Cognitive, Sensory, and Reward Circuits. In: Musiek FE, Chermak GD. Handbook of Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Auditory Neuroscience and Diagnosis. Vol I. San Diego: Plural Publishing Inc; 2014. as follows: the stimulus used consisted of the five first formants of the syllable (da) (40 ms), presented monaurally (right ear), in alternate polarities at 80 dB SPL and presentation rate of 10.9 stimuli/second. The recording window was of 74.67 ms, with a 100 Hz high-pass and 2,000 Hz low-pass filters.

Two sweeps of 3,000 stimuli were carried out. After the replication of the waveforms, a grand average was performed, and in the resulting waveforms the waves V and A were marked (Figure 1). Abnormal speech-evoked ABR was determined by the score generated by the algorithm contained in BioMAP, which is based on the values of five response parameters: wave V latency, wave A latency, slope, frequency of the first formant, and high frequencies. speech-evoked ABR was considered abnormal when the score ranged between 7 and 221313. Billiet CR, Bellis TJ. The relationship between Brainstem Temporal Processing and CAPD. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2011;228(54):228-42..

Figure 1:
Example of ABR waveforms

All individuals had been evaluated by at least five of the following behavioral tests: Sound Localization, Sequential Memory for Non-Verbal Sounds, Sequential Memory for Verbal Sounds, Speech perception in Noise or Identification of Figures with Noise, Staggered Spondaic Word Test , Frequency and Duration Pattern tests, and Gaps in Noise . The normality criteria of the behavioral tests were those previously established1414. Pereira LD, Schochat E. Testes Auditivos Comportamentais para Avaliação do Processamento Auditivo Central. Manual de Avaliação. Barueri, SP: Pró-Fono; 2011.. The individual was considered with APD when presenting deficit on at least one test1515. Jerger J, Musiek FE. Report of the Consensus Conference on the Diagnosis of Auditory Processing Disorders in School-Aged Children. J Am Acad Audiol. 2000;11(9):467-74..

Data analysis was descriptive and qualitative, and the probability of obtaining abnormal AP in relation to abnormal speech-evoked ABR was observed.

RESULTS

It was observed that among the 27 children with abnormal speech-evoked ABR, whose medical records were analyzed, 23 presented AP deficits (Table 1). Based on this sample, we observed an 85.15% probability of obtaining deficits on behavioral evaluation of the AP in a child with abnormal speech-evoked ABR.

DISCUSSION

The analysis allows inferring that abnormal speech-evoked ABR has a high level of accuracy in the positive diagnosis of APD. In other words, an abnormal speech-evoked ABR means there are great chances (85.15%) that the individual demonstrate deficits in the AP behavioral evaluation. Similar results were also observed in a previous study77. Rocha-Muniz CN, Befi-Lopes DM, Schochat E. Sensitivity, specificity and efficiency of speech-evoked ABR. Hearing Research. 2014;317:15-22., which observed the responses of children with APD, and demonstrated that 80% of them had abnormal speech-evoked ABR . These data are in accordance with studies that showed a major relationship between deficits in speech-evoked ABR and in auditory perception66. Rocha-Muniz CN, Befi-Lopes DM, Schochat E. Investigation of auditory processing disorder and language impairment using the speech-evoked auditory brainstem response. Hearing Research. 2012;294:143-52. 77. Rocha-Muniz CN, Befi-Lopes DM, Schochat E. Sensitivity, specificity and efficiency of speech-evoked ABR. Hearing Research. 2014;317:15-22. 88. Hornickel J, Chandrasekaran B, Zecker S, Kraus N. Auditory brainstem measures predict reading and speech-innoise perception in school-aged children. Behavioural Brain Research. 2011;216(2):597-605., and that demonstrated improved speech-evoked ABR response after auditory stimulation55. Filippini R, Befi-Lopes DM, Schochat E. Efficacy of Auditory Training Using the Auditory Brainstem Response to Complex Sounds: Auditory Processing Disorder and Specific Language Impairment. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica. 2012;64:217-26. 99. Hornickel J, Kraus N. Objective Biological Measures for the Assessment and Management of Auditory Processing Disorder. Current Pediatric Reviews. 2011;7(3):252-61. 1111. Banai K, Kraus N. Auditory Processing Disorder: An Intersection of Cognitive, Sensory, and Reward Circuits. In: Musiek FE, Chermak GD. Handbook of Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Auditory Neuroscience and Diagnosis. Vol I. San Diego: Plural Publishing Inc; 2014..

Based on the observations of the present study, and on the current knowledge about speech-evoked ABR, it is possible to discuss some clinical applications of this potential. Its main application lies on the differential diagnosis of APD and on monitoring the benefits of auditory stimulation in those cases. Among the auditory evoked-potentials that have been related to AP deficits, speech-evoked ABR is the one that seems to be more reliable, with lower intra- and inter-subject variability and has well-established normative criteria.

In addition, speech-evoked ABR can be used to assess younger children, for whom behavioral tests are not standardized, because after the age of five the response of children to speech-evoked ABR is expected to be similar to that of adults1313. Billiet CR, Bellis TJ. The relationship between Brainstem Temporal Processing and CAPD. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2011;228(54):228-42.. Therefore, speech-evoked ABR deficits in these children may represent a disorder in the auditory system, which would allow early intervention, even without the results of a behavioral evaluation. The same can be said for children with non-auditory deficits, which can make it difficult to perform an AP behavioral evaluation1111. Banai K, Kraus N. Auditory Processing Disorder: An Intersection of Cognitive, Sensory, and Reward Circuits. In: Musiek FE, Chermak GD. Handbook of Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Auditory Neuroscience and Diagnosis. Vol I. San Diego: Plural Publishing Inc; 2014..

CONCLUSION

In this study, it was observed that speech-evoked ABR deficits usually represent AP deficits, which allows the suggestion of speech-evoked ABR in clinical practice as an aid tool to evaluate AP. It can also provide information regarding the speech sound perception among children with difficult behavioral evaluation.

References

  • 1
    Greenberg S. Temporal neural coding of pitch and vowel quality. Department of Linguistics, UCLA. Working Papers in Phonetics.1980; 52.
  • 2
    Filippini R, Schochat E. Potenciais evocados auditivos de tronco encefálico com estímulo de fala no transtorno do processamento auditivo. Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2009;75(3):449-55.
  • 3
    Rocha CN, Filippini R, Moreira RM, Neves IF, Schochat E. Potencial evocado auditivo de tronco encefálico com estímulo de fala. Pró-Fono R Atual Cient. 2010;22(4):479-83.
  • 4
    Gonçalves IC, Wertzner HF, Samelli AG, Matas CG. Speech and non-speech processing in children with phonological disorders: an electrophysiological study. Clinics. 2011;66:293-8.
  • 5
    Filippini R, Befi-Lopes DM, Schochat E. Efficacy of Auditory Training Using the Auditory Brainstem Response to Complex Sounds: Auditory Processing Disorder and Specific Language Impairment. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica. 2012;64:217-26.
  • 6
    Rocha-Muniz CN, Befi-Lopes DM, Schochat E. Investigation of auditory processing disorder and language impairment using the speech-evoked auditory brainstem response. Hearing Research. 2012;294:143-52.
  • 7
    Rocha-Muniz CN, Befi-Lopes DM, Schochat E. Sensitivity, specificity and efficiency of speech-evoked ABR. Hearing Research. 2014;317:15-22.
  • 8
    Hornickel J, Chandrasekaran B, Zecker S, Kraus N. Auditory brainstem measures predict reading and speech-innoise perception in school-aged children. Behavioural Brain Research. 2011;216(2):597-605.
  • 9
    Hornickel J, Kraus N. Objective Biological Measures for the Assessment and Management of Auditory Processing Disorder. Current Pediatric Reviews. 2011;7(3):252-61.
  • 10
    King C, Warrier CM, Hayes E, Kraus N. Deficits in auditory brainstem pathway encoding of speech sounds in children with learning problems. Neurosci Lett. 2002;319:111-5.
  • 11
    Banai K, Kraus N. Auditory Processing Disorder: An Intersection of Cognitive, Sensory, and Reward Circuits. In: Musiek FE, Chermak GD. Handbook of Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Auditory Neuroscience and Diagnosis. Vol I. San Diego: Plural Publishing Inc; 2014.
  • 12
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.(Central) Auditory Processing Disorders [Technical Report]. 2005; available from http://www.asha.org/policy
    » http://www.asha.org/policy
  • 13
    Billiet CR, Bellis TJ. The relationship between Brainstem Temporal Processing and CAPD. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2011;228(54):228-42.
  • 14
    Pereira LD, Schochat E. Testes Auditivos Comportamentais para Avaliação do Processamento Auditivo Central. Manual de Avaliação. Barueri, SP: Pró-Fono; 2011.
  • 15
    Jerger J, Musiek FE. Report of the Consensus Conference on the Diagnosis of Auditory Processing Disorders in School-Aged Children. J Am Acad Audiol. 2000;11(9):467-74.

  • 4
    Study carried out at the Department of Physical Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Occupational Therapy at the School of Medicine, Universidade de São Paulo - USP - São Paulo (SP), Brazil.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Feb 2016

History

  • Received
    16 Dec 2014
  • Accepted
    28 Apr 2015
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