Carbamazepine induces upward frequency shifts of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions

Emile de Kleine*, Bert Maat, Jan D Metzemaekers, Pim van Dijk

*Corresponding author for this work

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In three subjects, we measured spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) when they were using carbamazepine (CBZ), and compared this to the SOAE measurement when they were not using CBZ. We observed 14 SOAEs showing a consistent upward shift of center frequency, related to CBZ intake. On average, the magnitude of the frequency shift increased with increasing frequency. The magnitude of the shift was 30-104 Hz, at frequencies ranging from 1.3 to 2.3 kHz, corresponding to a shift between 2.3 and 4.5%. Compared to other causes and manipulations known to change SOAE frequency, these shifts are relatively large. The underlying mechanism is most likely an increased stiffness of the cochlear partition. This would also explain the downward pitch shift due to CBZ, which has been reported by subjects with absolute pitch.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108492
Number of pages7
JournalHearing Research
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2022


  • Carbamazepine
  • Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions
  • Pitch perception
  • Cochlear partition

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