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Relationship between Audiometric slope and tinnitus pitch in tinnitus patients: insights into the mechanisms of tinnitus generation.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(4):e34878.Plos

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Different mechanisms have been proposed to be involved in tinnitus generation, among them reduced lateral inhibition and homeostatic plasticity. On a perceptual level these different mechanisms should be reflected by the relationship between the individual audiometric slope and the perceived tinnitus pitch. Whereas some studies found the tinnitus pitch corresponding to the maximum hearing loss, others stressed the relevance of the edge frequency. This study investigates the relationship between tinnitus pitch and audiometric slope in a large sample.

METHODOLOGY

This retrospective observational study analyzed 286 patients. The matched tinnitus pitch was compared to the frequency of maximum hearing loss and the edge of the audiogram (steepest hearing loss) by t-tests and correlation coefficients. These analyses were performed for the whole group and for sub-groups (uni- vs. bilateral (117 vs. 338 ears), pure-tone vs. narrow-band (340 vs. 115 ears), and low and high audiometric slope (114 vs. 113 ears)).

FINDINGS

For the right ear, tinnitus pitch was in the same range and correlated significantly with the frequency of maximum hearing loss, but differed from and did not correlate with the edge frequency. For the left ear, similar results were found but the correlation between tinnitus pitch and maximum hearing loss did not reach significance. Sub-group analyses (bi- and unilateral, tinnitus character, slope steepness) revealed identical results except for the sub-group with high audiometric slope which revealed a higher frequency of maximum hearing loss as compared to the tinnitus pitch.

CONCLUSION

The study-results confirm a relationship between tinnitus pitch and maximum hearing loss but not to the edge frequency, suggesting that tinnitus is rather a fill-in-phenomenon resulting from homeostatic mechanisms, than the result of deficient lateral inhibition. Sub-group analyses suggest that audiometric steepness and the side of affected ear affect this relationship. Future studies should control for these potential confounding factors.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22529949

Citation

Schecklmann, Martin, et al. "Relationship Between Audiometric Slope and Tinnitus Pitch in Tinnitus Patients: Insights Into the Mechanisms of Tinnitus Generation." PloS One, vol. 7, no. 4, 2012, pp. e34878.
Schecklmann M, Vielsmeier V, Steffens T, et al. Relationship between Audiometric slope and tinnitus pitch in tinnitus patients: insights into the mechanisms of tinnitus generation. PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e34878.
Schecklmann, M., Vielsmeier, V., Steffens, T., Landgrebe, M., Langguth, B., & Kleinjung, T. (2012). Relationship between Audiometric slope and tinnitus pitch in tinnitus patients: insights into the mechanisms of tinnitus generation. PloS One, 7(4), e34878. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0034878
Schecklmann M, et al. Relationship Between Audiometric Slope and Tinnitus Pitch in Tinnitus Patients: Insights Into the Mechanisms of Tinnitus Generation. PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e34878. PubMed PMID: 22529949.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Relationship between Audiometric slope and tinnitus pitch in tinnitus patients: insights into the mechanisms of tinnitus generation. AU - Schecklmann,Martin, AU - Vielsmeier,Veronika, AU - Steffens,Thomas, AU - Landgrebe,Michael, AU - Langguth,Berthold, AU - Kleinjung,Tobias, Y1 - 2012/04/18/ PY - 2011/11/20/received PY - 2012/03/08/accepted PY - 2012/4/25/entrez PY - 2012/4/25/pubmed PY - 2012/12/10/medline SP - e34878 EP - e34878 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS One VL - 7 IS - 4 N2 - BACKGROUND: Different mechanisms have been proposed to be involved in tinnitus generation, among them reduced lateral inhibition and homeostatic plasticity. On a perceptual level these different mechanisms should be reflected by the relationship between the individual audiometric slope and the perceived tinnitus pitch. Whereas some studies found the tinnitus pitch corresponding to the maximum hearing loss, others stressed the relevance of the edge frequency. This study investigates the relationship between tinnitus pitch and audiometric slope in a large sample. METHODOLOGY: This retrospective observational study analyzed 286 patients. The matched tinnitus pitch was compared to the frequency of maximum hearing loss and the edge of the audiogram (steepest hearing loss) by t-tests and correlation coefficients. These analyses were performed for the whole group and for sub-groups (uni- vs. bilateral (117 vs. 338 ears), pure-tone vs. narrow-band (340 vs. 115 ears), and low and high audiometric slope (114 vs. 113 ears)). FINDINGS: For the right ear, tinnitus pitch was in the same range and correlated significantly with the frequency of maximum hearing loss, but differed from and did not correlate with the edge frequency. For the left ear, similar results were found but the correlation between tinnitus pitch and maximum hearing loss did not reach significance. Sub-group analyses (bi- and unilateral, tinnitus character, slope steepness) revealed identical results except for the sub-group with high audiometric slope which revealed a higher frequency of maximum hearing loss as compared to the tinnitus pitch. CONCLUSION: The study-results confirm a relationship between tinnitus pitch and maximum hearing loss but not to the edge frequency, suggesting that tinnitus is rather a fill-in-phenomenon resulting from homeostatic mechanisms, than the result of deficient lateral inhibition. Sub-group analyses suggest that audiometric steepness and the side of affected ear affect this relationship. Future studies should control for these potential confounding factors. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22529949/Relationship_between_Audiometric_slope_and_tinnitus_pitch_in_tinnitus_patients:_insights_into_the_mechanisms_of_tinnitus_generation_ L2 - https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0034878 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -