Effect of anesthesia on evoked auditory responses in pediatric auditory brainstem implant surgery

Kevin Wong, Ruwan Kiringoda, Vivek V. Kanumuri, Samuel R. Barber, Kevin Franck, Nita Sahani, M. Christian Brown, Barbara S. Herrmann, Daniel J. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Electrically evoked auditory brainstem responses (EABR) guide placement of the multichannel auditory brainstem implant (ABI) array during surgery. EABRs are also recorded under anesthesia in nontumor pediatric ABI recipients prior to device activation to confirm placement and guide device programming. We examine the influence of anesthesia on evoked response morphology in pediatric ABI users by comparing intraoperative with postoperative EABR recordings. Study Design: Retrospective review. Methods: Seven children underwent ABI surgery by way of retrosigmoid craniotomy. General anesthesia included inhaled sevoflurane induction and propofol maintenance during which EABRs were recorded to confirm accurate positioning of the ABI. A mean of 7.7 ± 2.8 weeks following surgery, the ABI was activated under general anesthesia or sedation (dexmedetomidine) and EABR recordings were made. A qualitative analysis of intraoperative and postoperative waveform morphology was performed. Results: Seven subjects (mean age 20.6 months) underwent nine ABI surgeries (seven primary, two revisions) and nine activations. EABRs were observed in eight of nine postoperative recordings. In three cases, intraoperative EABRs during general anesthesia were similar to postoperative EABRs with sedation. In one case, sevoflurane and propofol were used for intra- and postoperative recordings, and waveforms were also similar. In four cases, amplitude and latency changes were observed for intraoperative versus postoperative EABRs. Conclusion: Similarity of EABR morphology in the anesthetized versus sedated condition suggests that anesthesia does not have a large effect on far-field evoked potentials. Changes in EABR waveform morphology observed postoperatively may be influenced by other factors such as movements of the surface array. Level of Evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 130:507–513, 2020.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-513
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • ABI
  • EABR
  • Pediatric auditory brainstem implant
  • anesthesia
  • dexmedetomidine
  • electrically evoked auditory brainstem response
  • propofol
  • sevoflurane


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