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    BAER - brainstem auditory evoked response

    Evoked auditory potentials; Brainstem auditory evoked potentials; Evoked response audiometry; Auditory brainstem response; ABR; BAEP

    Brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) is a test to measure the brain wave activity that occurs in response to clicks or certain tones.

    How the Test is Performed

    You lie on a reclining chair or bed and remain still. Electrodes are placed on your scalp and on each earlobe. The earphones give off a brief click or tone. The electrodes pick up the brain's responses to these sounds and record them. You do not need to be awake for this test.

    How to Prepare for the Test

    You may be asked to wash your hair the night before the test.

    Young children often require some type of sedation (medicine to relax them) so they remain still during the procedure.

    Why the Test is Performed

    The test is done to:

    • Help diagnose nervous system problems and hearing loss (especially in newborns and children)
    • Determine how well the nervous system works
    • Determine hearing ability in people who can not do other hearing tests.

    This test may also be performed during surgery to decrease the risk of injury to the hearing nerve and brain.

    Normal Results

    Normal results vary, and depend on the patient and the instruments used to perform the test.

    What Abnormal Results Mean

    Abnormal test results may be a sign of hearing loss, multiple sclerosis, acoustic neuroma, or stroke.

    Abnormal results may also be due to:

    • Brain injury
    • Brain malformation
    • Brain tumor
    • Central pontine myelinolysis
    • Speech disorders

    Risks

    There are no risks.

    References

    Brown CJ, Johnson TA. Electrophysiologic assessment of hearing. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 134.

    Emerson RG, Pedley TA. Clinical neurophysiology: Electroencephalography and evoked potentials. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann; 2012:chap 32A.

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      A Closer Look

        Tests for BAER - brainstem auditory evoked response

        Review Date: 8/30/2012

        Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

        The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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        St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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