Auditory Brainstem Response Wave Amplitude Characteristics as a Diagnostic Tool in Children with Speech Delay with Unknown Causes

Susan Abdi, Ghamartaj Khanbabaee, Kourosh Sheibani


Speech delay with an unknown cause is a problem among children. This diagnosis is the last differential diagnosis after observing normal findings in routine hearing tests. The present study was undertaken to determine whether auditory brainstem responses to click stimuli are different between normally developing children and children suffering from delayed speech with unknown causes. In this cross-sectional study, we compared click auditory brainstem responses between 261 children who were clinically diagnosed with delayed speech with unknown causes based on normal routine auditory test findings and neurological examinations and had >12 months of speech delay (case group) and 261 age- and sex-matched normally developing children (control group). Our results indicated that the case group exhibited significantly higher wave amplitude responses to click stimuli (waves I, III, and V) than did the control group (P=0.001). These amplitudes were significantly reduced after 1 year (P=0.001); however, they were still significantly higher than those of the control group (P=0.001). The significant differences were seen regardless of the age and the sex of the participants. There were no statistically significant differences between the 2 groups considering the latency of waves I, III, and V. In conclusion, the higher amplitudes of waves I, III, and V, which were observed in the auditory brainstem responses to click stimuli among the patients with speech delay with unknown causes, might be used as a diagnostic tool to track patients’ improvement after treatment.


Language development disorders, Diagnosis, Differential, Evoked potentials, Auditory, Brain stem

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pISSN: 0253-0716         eISSN: 1735-3688