Evaluating Hearing Threshold Differences Between Ears as a Screen for Acoustic Neuroma Differences in pure tone thresholds between ears were evaluated at two different patient care facilities to determine this measure’s value as a screen for acoustic neuroma. We evaluated the audiograms of tumor and nontumor groups to estimate the true positive rates and false positive rates for several decision rules. Threshold ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1995
Evaluating Hearing Threshold Differences Between Ears as a Screen for Acoustic Neuroma
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Robert S. Schlauch
    Department of Communication Disorders and Department of Otolaryngology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Samuel Levine
    Department of Otolaryngology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Yaoli Li
    Department of Otolaryngology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Stephen Haines
    Department of Otolaryngology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Contact author: Robert S. Schlauch, Department of Communication Disorders, 115 Shevlin Hall, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455.
    Contact author: Robert S. Schlauch, Department of Communication Disorders, 115 Shevlin Hall, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455.×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Balance & Balance Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1995
Evaluating Hearing Threshold Differences Between Ears as a Screen for Acoustic Neuroma
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1995, Vol. 38, 1168-1175. doi:10.1044/jshr.3805.1168
History: Received June 13, 1994 , Accepted May 22, 1995
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1995, Vol. 38, 1168-1175. doi:10.1044/jshr.3805.1168
History: Received June 13, 1994; Accepted May 22, 1995

Differences in pure tone thresholds between ears were evaluated at two different patient care facilities to determine this measure’s value as a screen for acoustic neuroma. We evaluated the audiograms of tumor and nontumor groups to estimate the true positive rates and false positive rates for several decision rules. Threshold differences were found to be a more effective diagnostic tool for females than for males. However, even for the most effective rules, the efficiency of this test alone is mediocre, which indicates that hearing threshold differences between ears must be combined with other criteria for a cost-effective approach to acoustic neuroma identification. Furthermore, tumor size was not predicted by the amount of threshold asymmetry between ears, which suggests that some large, potentially life-threatening tumors may be missed if pure tone threshold differences are the sole criterion for referral for additional tests.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this paper were presented at the Midwest section of the Triological Society on January 22,1994 in Rochester, MN.
We are thankful to Nancy M. W. Haack for her preliminary work on this project and for providing the audiograms from the VA patients. The authors are grateful to Marilee Williams for her assistance in typing the tables and in proofreading this manuscript. During the review process, Patrick Feeney and an anonymous reviewer made many useful suggestions.
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