Contralateral inhibition of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) has become an important tool to assess the functioning of the medial olivocochlear efferents in humans. However, before this measurement can be applied clinically, the test/retest repeatability needs to be established. Therefore, the current study aimed at evaluating intra- and intersession test/retest repeatability of contralateral inhibition of DPOAE at 2f1–f2.
Prospective Test/Retest Reliability Study.
Contralateral inhibition of DPOAE magnitudes were measured in the right ear of 24 adult male participants. To assess the intrasession repeatability, measurements were repeated without altering the position of the DPOAE probe (single-probe-fit). To assess intersession reliability, measurements were repeated on 8 different days (multiple-probe-fit). Repeatability of inhibition of DPOAE magnitudes was evaluated by Cronbach's alpha, interclass correlations, standard error of measurement, and its 95% confidence interval and smallest detectable difference.
DPOAE magnitudes were highly stable and repeatable across different recording sessions. However, test/retest reliability coefficients of DPOAE inhibition magnitudes were less than satisfactory for all the frequencies, in both single-probe-fit and multiple-probe-fit modes.
Results of the present study showed that contralateral inhibition magnitudes of DPOAEs varied considerably, even though DPOAEs magnitudes remained essentially the same across different recording sessions. As reliability is an essential aspect of any clinical procedure, it is suggested that at present contralateral inhibition of DPOAEs should not be used clinically to evaluate the medial efferent system. Laryngoscope, 2012