Brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) is a test to measure the brain wave activity that occurs in response to clicks or certain tones.
You lie on a reclining chair or bed and remain still. Electrodes are placed on your scalp and on each earlobe. The earphones give off a brief click or tone. The electrodes pick up the brain's responses to these sounds and record them. You do not need to be awake for this test.
You may be asked to wash your hair the night before the test.
Young children often require some type of sedation (medicine to relax them) so they remain still during the procedure.
The test is done to:
This test may also be performed during surgery to decrease the risk of injury to the hearing nerve and brain.
Normal results vary, and depend on the patient and the instruments used to perform the test.
Abnormal results may also be due to:
There are no risks.
Evoked auditory potentials; Brainstem auditory evoked potentials; Evoked response audiometry; Auditory brainstem response; ABR; BAEP
Brown CJ, Johnson TA. Electrophysiologic assessment of hearing. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 134.
Emerson RG, Pedley TA. Clinical neurophysiology: Electroencephalography and evoked potentials. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann; 2012:chap 32A.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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