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Festival effect on cochlear synaptopathy (Maele et al., 2021)

journal contribution
posted on 20.10.2021, 22:16 by Tine Vande Maele, Sarineh Keshishzadeh, Nele De Poortere, Ingeborg Dhooge, Hannah Keppler, Sarah Verhulst
Purpose: Speech-in-noise tests and suprathreshold auditory evoked potentials are promising biomarkers to diagnose cochlear synaptopathy (CS) in humans. This study investigated whether these biomarkers changed after recreational noise exposure.
Method: The baseline auditory status of 19 normal-hearing young adults was analyzed using questionnaires, pure-tone audiometry, speech audiometry, and auditory evoked potentials. Nineteen subjects attended a music festival and completed the same tests again at Day 1, Day 3, and Day 5 after the music festival.
Results: No significant relations were found between lifetime noise-exposure history and the hearing tests. Changes in biomarkers from the first session to the follow-up sessions were nonsignificant, except for speech audiometry, which showed a significant learning effect (performance improvement).
Conclusions: Despite the individual variability in prefestival biomarkers, we did not observe changes related to the noise-exposure dose caused by the attended event. This can indicate the absence of noise exposure–driven CS in the study cohort, or reflect that biomarkers were not sensitive enough to detect mild CS. Future research should include a more diverse study cohort, dosimetry, and results from test–retest reliability studies to provide more insight into the relationship between recreational noise exposure and CS.

Supplemental Material
This section provides additional information on the relation between Laeq,life and EHF audiometric thresholds of different (Supplemental Material S1) and averaged frequencies (Supplemental Material S2), the variation of speech reception thresholds of different conditions in relation to Laeq,life (Supplemental Materials S3 and S4) and correlation between Laeq,festival and shifted amount of different AEP markers as well as EHF audiogram from session 1 to session 2 (Supplemental Material S6). Furthermore, the amplitude and latency shifts of ABR wave I and V from session 1 to session 2 are reported in Supplemental Material S5. The shifted amounts are specified separately for groups who did or did not experience HRS after attending the music-event.

Supplemental Material S1. Spearman’s correlation analysis between Laeq,life and (A) 10 kHz, (B) 12.5 kHz, (C) 14 kHz and (D) 16 kHz EHF thresholds. Correlation coefficients and p-values are indicated in respective panels.

Supplemental Material S2. Spearman’s correlation analysis between Laeq,life and averaged EHF audiometric thresholds from 10 to 16 kHz.

Supplemental Material S3. Spearman’s correlation analysis between Laeq,life and (A) LP SPiQ, and (B) HP SpiQ. Correlation coefficients and p-values are indicated in respective panels.

Supplemental Material S4. Spearman’s correlation analysis between Laeq,life and (A) LP SPiN, (B) HP SPiN and (C) BB SPiN reception thresholds. Correlation coefficients and p-values are indicated in respective panels.

Supplemental Material S5. U-values and significance levels of Mann Whitney U test for AEP measurements. Median test shifts from session 1 to session 2, minima and maxima are shown for subjects that have experienced Hearing Related Symptoms (HRS) and those who did not. Significant between-group differences are highlighted with *(p < .05), **(p < .01) or ***(p < .001).

Supplemental Material S6. Spearman’s correlation between the Laeq,festival and the shift-amount of different markers from session-1 to session-2: (A) RAM-EFR magnitude, (B) SAM-EFR magnitude, (C) ABR wave-I amplitude, (D) ABR wave-V amplitude, (E) ABR wave-I latency, (F) ABR wave-V latency and (G) EHF threshold shifts. In each panel, a negative shift is an indicator of reduction in the corresponding from session-1 to session-2.

Maele, T. V., Keshishzadeh, S., De Poortere, N., Dhooge, I., Keppler, H., & Verhulst, S. (2021). The variability in potential biomarkers for cochlear synaptopathy after recreational noise exposure. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_JSLHR-21-00064


This work was supported by UGent BOF-IOP project “Portable Hearing Diagnostics: Monitoring of Auditory-nerve Integrity after Noise Exposure (EarDiMon)” (T. V. M., N. D. P., I. D., H. K. and S. V.) and European Research Council under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program, Grant Agreement No. 678120 RobSpear (S. K. and S. V.).