Investigation of auditory brainstem function in diabetic patients

Int Tinnitus J. 2003;9(2):84-6.


We performed brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP) examinations in 15 patients with long-standing type 1 diabetes mellitus. We applied cardiovascular reflex tests for assessment of autonomic neuropathy. The aim of our investigation was to compare the BAEP results of this patient group with those of controls and to look for the possible correlation between alteration of the auditory brainstem function and cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy. Analysis of the latencies (waves I, II, III, and V) and the interpeak latencies (I-III and I-V) of BAEP revealed a significant difference between those of diabetics and those of healthy controls. The amplitudes of waves I, III, and V were definitely lower in comparison with amplitudes of healthy controls. We observed a positive correlation between the overall autonomic score and the latencies (waves III and V) and interpeak latencies (I-III, I-V). These data support the hypothesis that long-standing diabetes mellitus and diabetic neuropathy might be revealed as a cause of certain dysfunctions of the central auditory pathways.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Auditory Diseases, Central / etiology*
  • Auditory Diseases, Central / physiopathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / complications
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / physiopathology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem*
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / complications
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology
  • Hearing Tests / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reaction Time
  • Regression Analysis