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Wideband Acoustic Immittance Measures: Developmental Characteristics (0 to 12 Months)

Kei, Joseph1; Sanford, Chris A.2; Prieve, Beth A.3; Hunter, Lisa L.4

doi: 10.1097/AUD.0b013e31829db914

Rapid developmental changes of the peripheral auditory system in normal infants occur in the first year of life. Specifically, the postnatal development of the external and middle ear affects all measures of external and middle ear function including wideband acoustic immittance (WAI). This article provides an overview of WAI studies in newborns and infants from a developmental perspective. Normative WAI data in newborns are fairly consistent across studies. However, there are discrepancies in some WAI measures between studies, possibly due to differences in sampling, methodology, and instrumentation. Accuracy of WAI measurements is compromised when a good probe seal cannot be maintained during testing or an inaccurate estimate of the cross-sectional area of the earcanal of newborns occurs. Comparison of WAI data between age groups from 0 to 12 months reveals maturation effects. Additional age-specific longitudinal and cross-sectional normative WAI data for infants from birth to 12 months are required to validate and consolidate existing data.

1Hearing Research Unit for Children, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, Division of Audiology, Queensland, Australia; 2Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho, USA; 3Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA; and 4Communication Sciences Research Center Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Address for correspondence: Joseph Kei, Division of Audiology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia. Email:

Received February 22, 2013

Accepted May 26, 2013

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins