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Paradoxical long-term enhancement of distortion product otoacoustic emission amplitude after repeated exposure to moderate level, wide band noise in awake guinea pigs

  • L Mei (a1), Z-W Huang (a1) and Z-Z Tao (a1)



Hearing sensitivity usually diminishes with noise exposure. In the present study, we examined the effect of 93 dB(A) wide band noise on cochlear micromechanical sensitivity in awake guinea pigs.


Animals were randomly assigned to groups receiving either single or repeated noise exposure. Distortion product otoacoustic emission amplitudes were recorded before, during and after noise exposure.


Ninety-three decibel(A) wide band noise reduced the distortion product otoacoustic emission amplitudes at all tested frequencies. The distortion product otoacoustic emission amplitudes for higher frequencies showed a permanent reduction, whereas those for lower frequencies showed a temporary reduction. Distortion product otoacoustic emission amplitudes for middle frequencies showed prolonged enhancement after repeated noise exposure.


Our results suggest that (1) it is likely that there are intermediate stages between permanent threshold shift and temporary threshold shift, and (2) long-term enhancement of distortion product otoacoustic emission amplitudes may be an indication of tinnitus generation.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Ze-Zhang Tao, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Renmin Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430060, China. Fax: +86 27 88043958 E-mail:


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