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Year: 2003  Vol. 7   Num. 4  - Oct/Dec Print:
Original Article
Texto Text in Portuguese
The Function of Medial Olivocochlear Bundle in Tinnitus Patients
A Funo do Trato Olivococlear Medial em Indivduos com Zumbido
Mariana Lopes Fvero*, Tanit Ganz Sanchez**, Andria de F. Nascimento***, Ricardo Ferreira Bento****.
Key words:
efferent auditory pathways; otoacoustic emission; contralateral suppression, tinnitus.

Introduction: It is questioned whether the efferent system is involved in the mechanism that generates tinnitus caused by an abnormality in the active cochlear process. A simple method to study the systems operation is to compare the amplitude of otoacoustic emissions with and without contralateral stimulation. Despite the fact that some authors obtained similar results, others concluded that there was no defined pattern relating tinnitus and efferent auditory pathways functional test. Therefore, better understanding of intrinsic mechanisms of the efferent auditory pathways is required. Objective: To investigate the effects of contralateral acoustic stimulation by distortion product otoacoustic emissions in people with and without tinnitus. Methods: We studied 14 subjects with tinnitus and 14 without it, being all right-handed, aged no older than 60 years and without hearing loss detected by conventional pure tone audiometry. The assessment parameter for olivocochlear system function was suppression of otoacoustic emissions on the right ear by contralateral broadband noise at 50dB HL. Results: Patients with tinnitus presented less suppressing effect than the control group, showing that the efferent system of these patients is less efficient. Conclusion: Despite the reduced sample, there was a strong tendency towards less suppression of distortion product otoacoustic emissions in subjects with tinnitus.



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