BACKGROUND: A negative potential is occasionally recorded in humans and animals with profound deafness during brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAER) tests if loud intensities are used. This acoustically evoked short latency negative response (ASNR) is hypothesized to be of saccular origin. The sensitivity to sound of vestibular end organs is also used to produce vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP), a test that evaluates vestibular function. The same saccular origin is accepted also for VEMP. CASE PRESENTATION: A neutered male white domestic short hair cat presented with profound deafness and an ASNR in the left ear during BAER test performed when he was 8 months old. BAER tracings were substantially unchanged at the age of 12 years, immediately before euthanasia that was requested by the owner for the presence of an unrelated neoplastic disorder. The cat underwent a complete post-mortem necropsy including histopathology of the middle and inner ears. Histopathologic results confirmed the presence of a cochleosaccular degeneration of the left ear while the cochlea and sacculus of the right ear and the utriculus and semicircular canals of both ears were histologically normal. CONCLUSIONS: This case report describes the auditory and histopathologic findings of a cat that showed an ASNR during BAER test despite the presence of cochleosaccular deafness. These results confirm that a saccular origin for the ASNR in this case, and in general in cats and dogs with congenital deafness associated with white pigmentation, is improbable. The hypothesis that the sacculus is the vestibular end organ responsible for the generation of the ASNR and VEMP in humans comes mainly from animal studies. The findings in this report may change the clinical interpretation of the results of BAER and VEMP not only in companion animals, but in humans as well.
The acoustically evoked short latency negative response (ASNR) in a unilaterally deaf cat with histologically-confirmed cochleosaccular degeneration / Bianchi, E.; Cantoni, A. M.; Poncelet, L.. - In: BMC VETERINARY RESEARCH. - ISSN 1746-6148. - 16:1(2020), pp. 215-219. [10.1186/s12917-020-02426-z]