Heart beat modulation of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in Guinea pig

T. Ren, M. Zhang, A. L. Nuttall, J. M. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


It has been reported that background variation in the frequency of spontaneous otoacoustic emission (SOAEs) may arise from the cardiovascular system and that the side-bands in the spectra of SOAEs may he modulated by heartbeat. For better understanding of the mechanical influence of the cardiac cycle on cochlear functions under physiological and pathophysiological conditions, this study investigated heartbeat-induced modulation of SOAEs in guinea pig. Possible mechanisms of these phenomena are also discussed. The external ear canal acoustic signal. round window electric signal. and the ECG were recorded for off-line analysis from five pigmented guinea pigs with SOAEs. Time and frequency domain averages with synchronization of the heartheat indicate that both the external ear canal acoustic and round window electric signal contain some component contributed by ECG and phonocardiography. High resolution FFT spectra suggest that SOAEs were modulated by heartbeat and respiration. Theoretically the change in the SOAEs could be from frequency modulation or a combination of frequency and amplitude modulations. Results of a heartbeat-synchronized average of a wave analyzer output at SOAE frequency indicates that amplitude modulation of SOAE does occur. Data obtained in the current experiment support the hypothesis that the heartbeat-related modulation of SOAE in guinea pig is a combination of frequency and amplitude modulation. The proposed mechanism is that pulsatile cochlear blood flow may cause oscillations in cochlear pressure and affect codhlear performance, resulting in heartbeat modulation of SOAEs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-731
Number of pages7
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Cochlear blood
  • Cochlear microphonic polential
  • ECG
  • FFT
  • Flow
  • Signal average

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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