The purpose of this article was to review the effectiveness of wideband acoustic immittance (WAI) and tympanometry in detecting conductive hearing loss (CHL). Eight studies were included that measured CHL through air-and bone-conducted thresholds in at least a portion of their participants. One study included infants, three studies included children, one study included older children and adults, and three studies included adults. WAI identified CHL well in all populations. In infants and children, WAI in several single-frequency bands identified CHL with equal accuracy to measures of middle ear admittance using clinical tympanometry with a single probe tone (1000 Hz for infants; 226 Hz for children and adults). When WAI was combined across frequency bands, it identified CHL superior to traditional, single-frequency tympanometry. Only two studies used WAI tympanometry, which assesses the outer/middle ear across both frequency and introduced air pressure, and differing results were reported as to whether introducing pressure into the ear canal provides better identification of CHL. In general, WAI appears to be a promising clinical tool, and further investigation is warranted.
1Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA; 2National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Portland, Oregon, USA; 3Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA; 4Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; and 5School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: The views presented in this article do not represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or of the U.S. Government.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Address for correspondence: Beth A. Prieve, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Syracuse University, Hoople Building, 805 S. Crouse Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received February 8, 2013
Accepted May 13, 2013