Distortion-product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) have been shown to be ideally sensitive to interruptions of the cochlear blood flow. However, a 15- to 30-second latency typically occurs between cessation of circulation and measurable DPOAE level changes. DPOAEs can also be characterized by phase measures. The aim of the present study was to determine in 10 rabbits the effects on DPOAE phase of repetitively compressing the internal auditory artery. In contrast to the delays measured by DPOAE level, phase changes were detected 1 to 5 seconds after internal auditory artery compression. These data suggest that the essentially 'real time' monitoring of cochlear function with DPOAE phase can be used to ensure hearing preservation during surgery involving the porus acousticus and skull base.
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