The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

Main Articles

Clinical characteristics and audiological significance of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in tinnitus patients with normal hearing

D-K Kima1, S-N Parka1 c1, K-H Parka1, H G Choia1, E-J Jeona1, Y-S Parka1 and S W Yeoa1

a1 Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea

Abstract

Objective: To define the clinical and audiological features of normal-hearing tinnitus patients with spontaneous otoacoustic emissions, and to evaluate the role of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in tinnitus generation.

Materials and methods: Thirty-two patients with spontaneous otoacoustic emissions were compared with 29 patients without spontaneous otoacoustic emissions, regarding clinical and audiological aspects.

Results: The mean age of the study group subjects was significantly lower, and they experienced the kindling effect less frequently than the control group. The mean tinnitus handicap inventory score of the study group was considerably higher than that of the controls, although the difference was not statistically significant. The study group had significantly quieter tinnitus, and higher transient evoked and distortion product otoacoustic emission responses, compared with the control group.

Conclusions: Normal-hearing tinnitus patients with spontaneous otoacoustic emissions have different clinical and audiological characteristics, compared with those without spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. Appropriate evaluation and treatment should be considered at an early stage in these patients.

(Accepted June 29 2010)

(Online publication November 05 2010)

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Shi-Nae Park, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul St Mary's Hospital, 505 Banpodong, Seochogu, Seoul, 137-701, South Korea Fax: 82 2 595 1354 E-mail: snparkmd@catholic.ac.kr

Dr S-N Park takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper

Competing interests: None declared