Development of auditory asymmetry in transient evoked otoacoustic emissions in pre-term infants

J Am Acad Audiol. 2003 Aug;14(6):339-46.


We previously reported that transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) continue to develop after the onset of cochlear function in pre-term infants from 34 to 39 weeks of conceptional age (Morlet et al., 1996). The time-course of development differed between genders. Reported here are findings of further analysis of data from the study cohort, comprising 1020 ears of 510 pre-term neonates (conceptional age ranging from 34 to 39 weeks), demonstrating developmental differences between right and left ears. The left ear of female pre-term infants showed enhancement of TEOAE amplitude at low and medium frequencies with age, whereas differences were less dramatic in the right ear. In male infants, TEOAE amplitude decreased in several frequency bands at high frequencies, above 4 kHz, between 34 and 39 weeks conceptional age; most developmental differences were found to be more dramatic in the right than in the left ear. It is tempting to speculate that these developmental features underlie well-known inter-aural asymmetries that have been demonstrated in the adult human.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Hair Cells, Auditory, Outer / physiopathology
  • Hearing Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Hearing Disorders / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Male
  • Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous*