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BAER - brainstem auditory evoked response

Evoked auditory potentials; Brainstem auditory evoked potentials; Evoked response audiometry; Auditory brainstem response; ABR; BAEP

 

Brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) is a test to measure the brain wave activity that occurs in response to clicks or certain tones.

How the Test is Performed

 

You lie on a reclining chair or bed and remain still. Electrodes are placed on your scalp and on each earlobe. A brief click or tone will be transmitted through earphones you are wearing during the test. The electrodes pick up the brain's responses to these sounds and record them. You do not need to be awake for this test.

 

How to Prepare for the Test

 

You may be asked to wash your hair the night before the test.

Young children often need medicine to help them relax (sedation) so they can stay still during the procedure.

 

Why the Test is Performed

 

The test is done to:

  • Help diagnose nervous system problems and hearing loss (especially in newborns and children)
  • Find out how well the nervous system works
  • Check hearing ability in people who cannot do other hearing tests

This test may also be performed during surgery to decrease the risk for injury to the hearing nerve and brain.

 

Normal Results

 

Normal results vary. Results will depend on the person and the instruments used to perform the test.

 

What Abnormal Results Mean

 

Abnormal test results may be a sign of hearing loss, multiple sclerosis, acoustic neuroma, or stroke.

Abnormal results may also be due to:

  • Brain injury
  • Brain malformation
  • Brain tumor
  • Central pontine myelinolysis
  • Speech disorders

 

Risks

 

There are no risks associated with this test.

 

 

References

Brown CJ, Johnson TA. Electrophysiologic assessment of hearing. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund V, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 134.

Hahn CD, Emerson RG. Electroencephalography and evoked potentials. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 34.

 
  • Brain

    Brain - illustration

    The major areas of the brain have one or more specific functions.

    Brain

    illustration

  • Brain wave monitor

    Brain wave monitor - illustration

    The brainstem auditory evoked response test (BAER), is performed to help diagnose nervous-system abnormalities, hearing losses (especially in low-birth weight newborns), and to assess neurologic functions. The test focuses on changes and responses in brain waves. The brain waves are stimulated by a clicking sound to evaluate the central auditory pathways of the brainstem.

    Brain wave monitor

    illustration

    • Brain

      Brain - illustration

      The major areas of the brain have one or more specific functions.

      Brain

      illustration

    • Brain wave monitor

      Brain wave monitor - illustration

      The brainstem auditory evoked response test (BAER), is performed to help diagnose nervous-system abnormalities, hearing losses (especially in low-birth weight newborns), and to assess neurologic functions. The test focuses on changes and responses in brain waves. The brain waves are stimulated by a clicking sound to evaluate the central auditory pathways of the brainstem.

      Brain wave monitor

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Self Care

       

        Tests for BAER - brainstem auditory evoked response

         

         

        Review Date: 5/25/2016

        Reviewed By: Sumana Jothi, MD, specialist in laryngology, Assistant Clinical Professor, UCSF Otolaryngology, NCHCS VA, SFVA, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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