Skull Base 2006; 16 - A035
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-958569

Referrals for Auditory Brainstem Responses—Compliance of Otoneurological Patients

Magdalini Tsiakou 1(presenter), Thomas Nikolopoulos 1, Olga Papadopoulou 1, Maria Theodosiou 1, Sotirios Pappas 1, Michael Tzagaroulakis 1, Eleftherios Ferekidis 1
  • 1Athens, Greece

Background: Auditory brainstem responses (ABR) are a widely used diagnostic tool in a number of otoneurological symptoms such as tinnitus, hearing loss, and vertigo.

Aim: The aim of the present paper is to assess the results of ABR screening and the rate of cases lost to follow-up in a busy ENT department.

Material and Methods: In a period of 3 months we referred for ABR evaluation 88 patients with a mean age of 59 years (minimum age 23 years and maximum age 82 years). There were 43 males (49%) and 45 females (51%). The patients suffered from tinnitus or asymmetric hearing loss or vertigo or a combination of these symptoms.

Results: From the 88 patients, 62 (70%) undertook the ABR examination and the remaining 26 patients (30%) did not present themselves for the ABR assessment. From the 62 patients, 44 (71%) had a normal ABR assessment while the remaining 18 (29%) had pathological ABR papameters.

Conclusion: Although ABR is an easy, painless, short, and low-cost examination done within our department and without a long waiting list, 30% of patients did not present themselves for the examination. It seems therefore that there is a serious discrepancy between the perceptions of patients versus doctors regarding easily accessible examinations, with obvious consequences in the effective management of these patients. ABR examination on the same day as the initial assessment, if possible, may improve the lost-to-follow-up rates in these patients.