Research Article

Evaluation of Cochlear Synaptopathy in Tinnitus Patients with Normal Hearing Using Auditory Brainstem Response and Electrocochleography Tests


Background and Aim: Tinnitus is defined a phantom sound percept. Few studies have examined the occurrence of synaptopathy in tinnitus patients utilizing a battery of tests that indicate synaptopathy. This study aimed to investigate the role of synaptopathy in tinnitus production and compare the various characteristics of the auditory brainstem response (ABR) test and electrocochleography (ECochG) in normal-hearing people with and without tinnitus.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 34 normal-hearing individuals, 20 without tinnitus as controls (11 females and 9 males) and 14 with tinnitus (8 females and 6 men). The test components (amplitude, growth and slope of wave I, V/I ratio, action potential (AP) amplitude, and summating potential (SP)/AP) ratio were recorded during the ABR and ECochG tests for each subject.
Results: The control group had higher mean values of amplitude, growth and slope of wave I, and AP amplitude compared to the tinnitus group, and this difference was statistically significant (p<0.05). The mean V/I ratio and SP/AP ratio were lower in the control group than in the tinnitus group, and this difference was statistically significant (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The significant difference in the parameters of ABR and ECochG tests between normal-hearing people with and without tinnitus indicates that these parameters can be used to evaluate the presence of synaptopathy in tinnitus patients. These findings suggest the need for proper interpretation of the results of ABR and ECochG tests in tinnitus patients with a focus on the parameters indicating synaptopathy.

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IssueVol 31 No 1 (2022) QRcode
SectionResearch Article(s)
Tinnitus synaptopathy auditory brainstem response electrocochleography normal hearing

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How to Cite
Ahmadpour T, Toufan R, Pourbakht A, Kamali M. Evaluation of Cochlear Synaptopathy in Tinnitus Patients with Normal Hearing Using Auditory Brainstem Response and Electrocochleography Tests. Aud Vestib Res. 2022;31(1):4-10.