Analysis of the variability of auditory brainstem response components through linear regression
Naves, K. F. P., Pereira, A. A., Nasuto, S. J., Russo, I. P. C. and Andrade, A. O. (2012) Analysis of the variability of auditory brainstem response components through linear regression. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 5 (9). pp. 517-525. ISSN 1937-688X
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To link to this item DOI: 10.4236/jbise.2012.59064
(ABR) is of fundamental importance to the investiga- tion of the auditory system behavior, though its in- terpretation has a subjective nature because of the manual process employed in its study and the clinical experience required for its analysis. When analyzing the ABR, clinicians are often interested in the identi- fication of ABR signal components referred to as Jewett waves. In particular, the detection and study of the time when these waves occur (i.e., the wave la- tency) is a practical tool for the diagnosis of disorders affecting the auditory system. In this context, the aim of this research is to compare ABR manual/visual analysis provided by different examiners. Methods: The ABR data were collected from 10 normal-hearing subjects (5 men and 5 women, from 20 to 52 years). A total of 160 data samples were analyzed and a pair- wise comparison between four distinct examiners was executed. We carried out a statistical study aiming to identify significant differences between assessments provided by the examiners. For this, we used Linear Regression in conjunction with Bootstrap, as a me- thod for evaluating the relation between the responses given by the examiners. Results: The analysis sug- gests agreement among examiners however reveals differences between assessments of the variability of the waves. We quantified the magnitude of the ob- tained wave latency differences and 18% of the inves- tigated waves presented substantial differences (large and moderate) and of these 3.79% were considered not acceptable for the clinical practice. Conclusions: Our results characterize the variability of the manual analysis of ABR data and the necessity of establishing unified standards and protocols for the analysis of these data. These results may also contribute to the validation and development of automatic systems that are employed in the early diagnosis of hearing loss.
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