Tinnitus and event related potentials: a systematic review

Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. Jan-Feb 2020;86(1):119-126. doi: 10.1016/j.bjorl.2019.09.005. Epub 2019 Nov 4.


Introduction: Tinnitus is sound perception in the absence of a sound source. Changes in parameters of latency and amplitude on the auditory event related potentials or long latency potentials waves have been cited in tinnitus patients when compared to a control group.

Objective: To perform an assessment of scientific evidence that verifies the possibility of alterations in latency or amplitude of the waves of event related potentials in individuals with tinnitus.

Methods: By using SciELO, Lilacs, ISI Web and PubMed, scientific databases, a review was performed. Articles published in English, Portuguese, French and Spanish that correlated tinnitus with changes in event related potentials were included in this review.

Results: Twelve articles were located, however only eight fulfilled the criteria for inclusion.

Conclusion: The sample of selected studies demonstrate that the long latency auditory evoked potentials related to events between the control and tinnitus patients showed some changes in latency and or amplitude in tinnitus patients. There are changes in event-related potentials when comparing patients with tinnitus and the control group. These changes take place considering the severity of tinnitus, tinnitus site of lesion, and capacity for changes after interventions. The event related potentials can help to determine the neurotransmitter involved in tinnitus generation and evaluate tinnitus treatments.

Keywords: Auditory evoked potentials; Event Related Potentials (ERP’s); Long latency potentials; P300; Potenciais de longa latência; Potenciais evocados auditivos; Potenciais relacionados a eventos; Tinnitus; Zumbido.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention
  • Event-Related Potentials, P300 / physiology
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Tinnitus / physiopathology*
  • Tinnitus / psychology