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A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, Otoneurosurgery

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Otorinolaringologia 2001 December;51(4):151-4

language: Italian

Changes of otoacustic emissions and of distortion products in relation to sex

Canale A., Lacilla M., Giordano L., Cavalot A. L., Ferrero V., Albera R.

Università degli Studi - Torino II Clinica ORL - Dipartimento di Fisiopatologia Clinica


Back­ground. Otoa­custic emis­sions (­OAEs) meas­ure­ment is now­days a ­good ­method for the assess­ment of ­hearing in new­borns and in ­adults’ coch­lear ­patology. The lit­er­a­ture ­points out ­that the beha­viour of ­OAEs is dif­ferent in rela­tion to sex. The aim of ­this ­study is to eval­uate the dif­fer­ence in ­females and ­males of spon­ta­neous otoa­custic emis­sions (­SOAEs), of tran­sient otoa­coustic emis­sions (­TOAEs) and of dis­tor­tion prod­ucts (­DPOAEs).
­Methods. In ­this com­par­a­tive ­study 20 ­females and 20 ­males ­were exam­ined. ­They ­were ­between 20 and 40 ­years old. All sub­jects ­were sub­mitted to the ­most ­common audio­logic ­tests to ­exclude ear ­pathology. ­SOAEs and ­TOAEs ­study was car­ried out ­with ILO88. The pres­ence, fre­quency and ampli­tude of ­SOAEs was ­assessed. ­DPOAEs ­study was car­ried out ­with ILO 92 and the eval­u­a­tion was ­done on the ampli­tude of dis­tor­tion prod­ucts ­with 2f1-f2 fre­quency.
­Results. ­SOAEs ­were ­recorded in 60% of ­females and 65% of ­males, ­with a ­mean ampli­tude ­bigger in ­female, not sta­tis­tical sig­nif­i­cant, and ­with the ­same fre­quency gap. ­TOAEs and ­DPOAEs gen­er­ally ­showed ampli­tudes ­higher in ­females ­than in ­males. The dif­fer­ence was sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant ­only in dis­tor­tion prod­ucts ­recorded ­with f2 ­near to 3300 and 4100 Hz. The ­study ­also ­showed audio­metric ­values ­higher in ­males ­than ­females, ­even if all ­normal, ­that ­were sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant ­over 2000 Hz.
Con­clu­sions. The ­data ­would ­seem to ­exclude a dif­ferent beha­viour of otoa­custic emis­sions in ­female and ­male due to ana­tomic or func­tional fac­tors of ­external, ­middle and ­inner ear. The ­only sta­tis­tical sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence was ­obtained ­with the ­most sen­si­tive otoa­custic emis­sions, ­DPOAEs, and it ­seemed to be jus­ti­fied by a ­better audiom­etry in ­female.

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