What is the role of brainstem auditory evoked potential (BSAEP) tests in electrodiagnosis?

Updated: Jan 27, 2020
  • Author: Adam B Agranoff, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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With BSAEPs, the clinician uses an auditory click to stimulate the cochlear nerve. The response is then recorded over the cortex. Because of the multiple signal generators in the brainstem, injuries along this nerve can suggest localization of the lesion to various sites along the nerve route. Five basic waveforms are recorded—for the cochlear nerve, the cochlear nucleus, the superior olivary complex, the midpons, and the upper pons—and interwave times may indicate pathology at a waveform’s anatomic location. BSAEPs may be used to help evaluate for brain death, demyelinating disease, and midbrain tumors.

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