Otoacoustic emissions and tympanometry screening among 0-5 year olds

Vu Ho, Kathleen A. Daly, Lisa L. Hunter, Cynthia Davey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the rate of otitis media (OM)-associated transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE) screening failure in a sample of pre-school children, to evaluate concordance between TEOAE and tympanometry, to investigate risk factors for TEOAE failure, and to determine agreement between TEOAE failure and physician findings at referral. Study Design: Cross-sectional. Methods: Children from birth to 5 years underwent screening by TEOAE and tympanometry, and those with one or more abnormal test result(s) were referred to their physician for further evaluation. Univariate associations between risk factors and TEOAE failure were determined using chi-square analysis. Multiple logistic regression analysis was done to examine the relationship between specific risk factors and TEOAE failure. Results: A total of 664 children aged 2 weeks to 71 months were screened between September 1997 and May 1999. TEOAE and tympanometry failure was found in 25% and 35% of all subjects, respectively. The overall prevalence of OM-associated hearing loss was 20%. Agreement between tympanometry and TEOAE was better for the youngest (<6 mo) and oldest ≥36 mo) age groups. Of those who failed TEOAE, a physician saw 81% within 3 months, and 80% of these had a diagnosis consistent with hearing loss but only 18% had audiometric testing. Sibling history of OM was the only significant predictor for TEOAE failure. Conclusions: TEOAE screening failure was highly consistent with physician diagnosis at follow-up. Failure of TEOAE in a screening program should be followed with diagnostic audiology testing to determine whether conductive or sensorineural hearing loss is present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-519
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Hearing loss
  • Hearing screening
  • Otitis media
  • Transient evoked otoacoustic emissions
  • Tympanometry


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