Dead regions in the cochlea at 4 kHz in elderly adults: relation to absolute threshold, steepness of audiogram, and pure-tone average

J Am Acad Audiol. 2007 Feb;18(2):97-106. doi: 10.3766/jaaa.18.2.2.


The aims of this study were (1) to investigate the prevalence of dead regions (DRs) at 4 kHz in elderly people with hearing loss and (2) to determine the extent to which the presence/absence of a DR can be predicted from the absolute threshold, the slope of the audiogram, or the pure-tone average (PTA) hearing loss at 0.5, 1, and 2 kHz. DRs were assessed for 98 ears with absolute thresholds between 60 and 85 dB HL at 4 kHz using the threshold equalizing noise test. Thirty-six ears had a DR at 4 kHz. There was no statistically significant difference in the slope of the audiogram or PTA between ears with and without DRs. However, the mean absolute threshold at 4 kHz was significantly higher for the group with DRs than for the group without DRs. The prevalence of DRs exceeded 50% for hearing losses greater than 70 dB.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone / methods*
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology*
  • Cochlea / physiopathology*
  • Cochlear Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cochlear Diseases / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / epidemiology*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Noise
  • Perceptual Masking
  • Prevalence
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index