Diagnosing Conductive Dysfunction in Infants Using Wideband Acoustic Immittance: Validation and Development of Predictive Models Academic Article uri icon


  • Purpose The aims of this study were (a) to validate the wideband acoustic immittance (WAI) model developed by Myers et al. (2018a) in a new sample of neonates and (b) to develop a prediction model for diagnosing middle ear dysfunction in infants aged 6-18 months using wideband absorbance, controlling for the effect of age. Method Tympanometry, distortion product otoacoustic emissions, and WAI were measured in 124 neonates and longitudinally in 357 infants at 6, 12, and 18 months of age. Results of tympanometry and distortion product otoacoustic emissions were used to assess middle ear function of each infant. For the first study, results from the neonates were applied to the diagnostic WAI model developed by Myers et al. (2018a). For the second study, a prediction model was developed using results from the 6- to 18-month-old infants. Results from 1 ear of infants in each age group (6, 12, and 18 months) were used to develop the model. The amount of bias (overfitting) was estimated with bootstrap resampling and by applying the model to the opposite ears (the test sample). Performance was assessed using measures of discrimination (c-index) and calibration (calibration curves). Results For the validation study, the Myers et al. (2018a) model was well calibrated and had a c-index of 0.837 when applied to a new sample of neonates. Although this was lower than the apparent performance c-index of 0.876 reported by Myers et al., it was close to the bias-corrected estimate of 0.845. The model developed for 6- to 18-month-old infants had satisfactory calibration and apparent, bias-corrected, and test sample c-index of 0.884, 0.867, and 0.887, respectively. Conclusions The validated and developed models may be clinically useful, and further research validating, updating, and assessing the clinical impact of the models is warranted.

publication date

  • 2019