The test performance of a wideband acoustic transfer function (ATF) test and 226-Hz tympanometry was assessed in predicting the presence of conductive hearing loss, based on an air-bone gap of 20 dB or more. Two ATF tests were designed using an improved calibration method over a frequency range (0.25-8 kHz): an ambient-pressure test and a tympanometric test using an excess static pressure in the ear canal. Wideband responses were objectively classified using moment analyses of energy transmittance, which was a more appropriate test variable than energy reflectance. Subjects included adults and children of age 10 years and up, with 42 normal-functioning ears and 18 ears with a conductive hearing loss. Predictors were based on the magnitudes of the moment deviations from the 10th to 90th percentiles of the normal group. Comparing tests at a fixed specificity of 0.90, the sensitivities were 0.28 for peak-compensated static acoustic admittance at 226 Hz, 0.72 for ambient-pressure ATF, and 0.94 for pressurized ATF. Pressurized ATF was accurate at predicting conductive hearing loss with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.95. Ambient-pressure ATF may have sufficient accuracy to use in some hearing-screening applications, whereas pressurized ATF has additional accuracy that may be appropriate for hearing-diagnostic applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics