Preserving Wideband Tympanometry Information with Artifact Mitigation

Kristine Elisabeth Eberhard, Michael E. Ravicz, Gabrielle R. Merchant, Salwa F. Masud, Stéphane F. Maison, Stephen T. Neely, Hideko Heidi Nakajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Absorbance measured using wideband tympanometry (WBT) has been shown to be sensitive to changes in middle and inner ear mechanics, with potential to diagnose various mechanical ear pathologies. However, artifacts in absorbance due to measurement noise can obscure information related to pathologies and increase intermeasurement variability. Published reports frequently present absorbance that has undergone smoothing to minimize artifact; however, smoothing changes the true absorbance and can destroy important narrow-band characteristics such as peaks and notches at different frequencies. Because these characteristics can be unique to specific pathologies, preserving them is important for diagnostic purposes. Here, we identify the cause of artifacts in absorbance and develop a technique to mitigate artifacts while preserving the underlying WBT information. Design: A newly developed Research Platform for the Interacoustics Titan device allowed us to study raw microphone recordings and corresponding absorbances obtained by WBT measurements. We investigated WBT measurements from normal hearing ears and ears with middle and inner ear pathologies for the presence of artifact and noise. Furthermore, it was used to develop an artifact mitigation procedure and to evaluate its effectiveness in mitigating artifacts without distorting the true WBT information. Results: We observed various types of noise that can plague WBT measurements and that contribute to artifacts in computed absorbances, particularly intermittent low-frequency noise. We developed an artifact mitigation procedure that incorporates a high-pass filter and a Tukey window. This artifact mitigation resolved the artifacts from low-frequency noise while preserving characteristics in absorbance in both normal hearing ears and ears with pathology. Furthermore, the artifact mitigation reduced intermeasurement variability. Conclusions: Unlike smoothing algorithms used in the past, our artifact mitigation specifically removes artifacts caused by noise. It does not change frequency response characteristics, such as narrow-band peaks and notches in absorbance at different frequencies that can be important for diagnosis. Also, by reducing intermeasurement variability, the artifact mitigation can improve the test-retest reliability of these measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-576
Number of pages14
JournalEar and hearing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 11 2022


  • Absorbance
  • Inner ear mechanics
  • Middle ear mechanics
  • Reflectance
  • Wideband acoustic immittance
  • Wideband tympanometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing


Dive into the research topics of 'Preserving Wideband Tympanometry Information with Artifact Mitigation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this