When is brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) indicated in the diagnosis of Bell palsy (idiopathic facial paralysis) (IFP)?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Danette C Taylor, DO, MS, FACN; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Hendrix and Melnick evaluated the BAER of 17 patients with Bell palsy and found no evidence of retrocochlear lesions of the auditory system in any of the patients. [42] In study by Shannon et al, BAER was recorded in 27 patients with Bell palsy; only 6 patients had prolonged brainstem transmission but normal auditory function. [43]

These studies were small and do not support routine use of BAER in patients with Bell palsy. However, when a patient presents with multiple cranial neuropathies (eg, of the seventh and eighth cranial nerves), BAER may be useful.


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