Objectives. To examine the relationship between speech intelligibilities among the similar level of hearing loss and threshold elevation of the auditory brainstem response (ABR). Methods. The relationship between maximum speech intelligibilities among similar levels of hearing loss and relative threshold elevation of the click-evoked ABR (ABR threshold – pure tone average at 2,000 and 4,000 Hz) was retrospectively reviewed in patients with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) other than apparent retrocochlear lesions as auditory neuropathy, vestibular schwannoma and the other brain lesions. Results. Comparison of the speech intelligibilities in subjects with similar levels of hearing loss found that the variation in maximum speech intelligibility was significantly correlated with the threshold elevation of the ABR. Conclusion. The present results appear to support the idea that variation in maximum speech intelligibility in patients with similar levels of SNHL may be related to the different degree of dysfunctions of the inner hair cells and/or cochlear nerves in addition to those of outer hair cells.
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