Medical Definition of ABR test

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

ABR test: Auditory brainstem response test. An automated test for hearing and brain (neurological) functioning that is performed by applying wires to the skin around the ear. ABR may be used in the evaluation of:

  • Hearing integrity (and neurologic normalcy) in infants and young children.
  • Neurologic integrity (and hearing) in patients who are comatose, unresponsive, or impaired due to a stroke, an acoustic neuroma (tumor on the hearing nerve), Ménière's disease, etc.

The ABR test involves attaching electrodes to the head to record electrical activity from the auditory nerve (the hearing nerve) and other parts of the brain. Also known as brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEP).

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018