Department of Neurology
Department of Neurosurgery
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Brain Stem Auditory Evoked Potential Test
University of Iowa Department of Neurology
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
Creation Date: 1999
Last Revision Date: March 2004
A Brain Stem Auditory Evoked Potential Test (BAEP) is a recording of the electrical activity coming from the brain stem. Electrodes are attached to your head so that the electrical activity can be measured and recorded. The test is used to evaluate the health of certain brain pathways that cannot be readily accessed by an EEG test.
What is it?
- It is a recording of the electrical activity coming from the brain stem
- used to evaluate the health of certain brain pathways not easily accessed by an EEG test.
- It is not a hearing test or a treatment of any kind.
How long does it take?
Why is a BAEP performed?
- It helps evaluate the cause of symptoms such as loss of balance, weakness, nausea, vomiting, hearing loss, unusual ringing of ears, headaches, vision problems, or numbness.
Does it hurt?
- No, you will experience no pain or discomfort.
Where is it conducted?
How many BAEPs are conducted each year?
- EEG and Evoked Potential Labs
- Lower Level (LL) of Carver Pavilion
What should I do to prepare for the test?
- Eat normal meals.
- Bring all medications you are currently taking when you come for the test. You may continue taking all medications unless your doctor gives you other instructions.
- Wash your hair before coming to the lab.
- Do NOT apply sprays, oils, or dressings of any kind.
How is it performed?
- You will sit in a comfortable chair while a technologist glues four electrodes onto your head.
- A meter checks all electrode connections to ensure that they are working properly.
- Earphones are placed over your ears
- You may lean back in the chair, relax, and even sleep if you like. You are asked to remain as still as possible.
- A clicking sound is delivered to one ear at a time for several minutes. You may or may not hear the clicks.
Following the test
- The electrodes are removed with acetone, which dissolves the glue and leaves your hair and skin intact.
- You may wash your hair when you return to your hospital room or home, unless your doctor gives you other instructions.
- You will learn the test results from the doctor either on the day of your visit, or from a copy of the letter sent to your personal physician.