Ankle Audiometry: A Clinical Test for the Enhanced Hearing Sensitivity for Body Sounds in Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2023

Introduction: The aim of this study was to develop a clinical test for body sounds' hypersensitivity in superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS). Method: Case-control study, 20 patients affected by SCDS and body sounds' hypersensitivity and 20 control matched subjects tested with a new test called ankle audiometry (AA). The AA consisted of a psychoacoustic hearing test in which the stimulus was substituted by a controlled bone vibration at 125, 250, 500, and 750 Hz, delivered at the medial malleolus by a steel spring-attached bone transducer prototype B250. For each subject, it was defined an index side (the other being non-index), the one with major symptoms in cases or best threshold for each tested frequency in controls. In 3 patients, the AA was measured before and after SCDS surgery. Results: The AA thresholds for index side were significantly lower in SCDS patients (115.6 ± 10.5 dB force level [FL]) than in control subjects (126.4 ± 8.56 dB FL). In particular, the largest difference was observed at 250 Hz (-16.5 dB). AA thresholds in patients were significantly lower at index side in comparison with non-index side (124.2 ± 11.4 dB FL). The response obtained with 250 Hz stimuli outperformed the other frequencies, in terms of diagnostic accuracy for SCDS. At specific thresholds' levels (120 dB FL), AA showed relevant sensitivity (90%) and specificity (80%) for SCDS. AA did not significantly correlate to other clinical markers of SCDS such as the bone and air conducted hearing thresholds and the vestibular evoked myogenic potentials. The AA thresholds were significantly modified by surgical intervention, passing from 119.2 ± 9.7 to 130.4 ± 9.4 dB FL in 3 patients, following their relief in body sounds' hypersensitivity. Conclusion: AA showed interesting diagnostic features in SCDS with significantly lower hearing thresholds in SCDS patients when compared to healthy matched subjects. Moreover, AA could identify the affected or more affected side in SCDS patients, with a significant threshold elevation after SCDS surgery, corresponding in body sounds' hypersensitivity relief. Clinically, AA may represent a first objective measure of body sounds' hypersensitivity in SCDS and, accordingly, be an accessible screening test for SCDS in not tertiary audiological centers.



Superior canal dehiscence syndrome


Superior canal dehiscence


Luca Verrecchia

Karolinska universitetssjukhuset

Karolinska Institutet

Karl-Johan Fredén Jansson

Chalmers, Elektroteknik, Signalbehandling och medicinsk teknik

Magnus Westin

Karolinska universitetssjukhuset

Aleksandr Velikoselskii

Karolinska universitetssjukhuset

Sabine Reinfeldt

Chalmers, Elektroteknik, Signalbehandling och medicinsk teknik

Bo Håkansson

Chalmers, Elektroteknik, Signalbehandling och medicinsk teknik

Audiology and Neuro-Otology

1420-3030 (ISSN) 1421-9700 (eISSN)

Vol. 28 3 219-229









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