Auditory Brainstem Response Evaluation

Also known as: auditory brainstem response audiometry, ABR evaluation, ABR test or Behavioral Evoked Response Audiometry (BERA).

What is auditory brainstem response evaluation?

Auditory brainstem response evaluation is a test for infants, children or others who cannot complete a typical hearing screening or test. The ABR measures the function of the nerves used for the hearing and their response to sounds.

What happens during the procedure?

Small stickers called electrodes are placed on the patient’s head to in order to analyze the responses of the hearing nerves. Headphones are then placed on the child’s head, and as sounds are played through the headphones, the electrodes measure and analyze the responses of the hearing nerves as a result of sound.

The ABR is typically completed when the patient is sleeping naturally or is able to remain relaxed and still; however, some children may require Sedation or Anesthesia. When sedation or anesthesia is required your child’s physician will have to provide an order.

The test itself takes about 1 hour to 11/2 hours, but the entire appointment will take about 2 hours.

Is any special preparation needed?

When anesthesia is needed, there are special rules for eating and drinking that must be followed in the hours before the test. If these rules are not followed, the test cannot be done that day.

What are the risk factors?

Some children can have an adverse reaction to the sedation or anesthesia (if used) and is a potential risk of the test. Other than that, the ABR is a safe examination.

Reviewed by: Carla Colebrook-Thomas

This page was last updated on: May 17, 2022 10:58 AM

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