Original Research

The sensitivity and specificity of wideband absorbance measure in identifying pathologic middle ears in adults living with HIV

Ben Sebothoma, Katijah Khoza-Shangase, Duane Mol, Dipuo Masege
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 68, No 1 | a820 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v68i1.820 | © 2021 Ben Sebothoma, Katijah Khoza-Shangase, Duane Mol, Dipuo Masege | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 January 2021 | Published: 30 September 2021

About the author(s)

Ben Sebothoma, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Katijah Khoza-Shangase, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Duane Mol, Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, The Ear and Eye Clinic, Alberton, South Africa
Dipuo Masege, Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Health Science, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Limited research exists on the sensitivity and specificity of wideband acoustic immittance (WAI) in adults living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This study forms part of the bigger study titled ‘wideband acoustic immittance in adults living with HIV’.

Objectives: To determine the sensitivity and specificity of the wideband absorbance measure at tympanic peak pressure (TPP), as a screening tool for detecting middle ear pathologies in adults living with HIV.

Method: A prospective nonexperimental study comprising 99 adults living with HIV was performed. All participants underwent a basic audiological test battery which included case history, video otoscopy, tympanometry, wideband absorbance at TPP and pure tone audiometry. Middle ear pathologies were established by two otorhinolaryngologists using asynchronous video otoscopic images analysis. The outcomes of the otorhinolaryngologists served as the gold standard against which the wideband absorbance at TPP and tympanometry were measured. The receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve was calculated.

Results: ROC revealed the sensitivity of wideband absorbance at TPP to be higher in low to mid frequencies, but significantly lower in frequencies above 971.53 Hz. The sensitivity of tympanometry was lower. However, there was no difference between the specificity of wideband absorbance at TPP and tympanometry, indicating that when there are no pathologies, tympanometry is equally accurate.

Conclusion: The current findings reveal that wideband absorbance at TPP can distinguish middle ear pathologies better than the tympanometry. Incorporating wideband absorbance at TPP in clinical practice may improve early identification and intervention of middle ear pathologies.


Keywords

adults; HIV; middle ear pathologies; sensitivity; specificity; wideband absorbance at TPP

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