Brainstem auditory evoked potentials, or BAEP, is a diagnostic test performed to evaluate neurological functioning and identify problems with hearing and/or the nervous system. This test may also be performed on patients suffering from brain injury or various speech disorders. Brainstem auditory evoked potentials is safe for all patients, with no associated risks.
While no special preparations are required before undergoing brainstem auditory evoked potentials, you will need to wash your hair the night before, as electrodes will be placed on your scalp during the test. You will remain in a reclined position during the test. The technician places electrodes on your scalp and earlobes. You will hear a series of clicks and tones during brainstem auditory evoked potentials; your brain’s response to each noise is recorded onto the electrodes. Results are available a few days after the test; your doctor will explain them to you at this point.
Brainstem auditory evoked potentials may also be performed during neurosurgical procedures so the neurosurgeon can monitor the patient’s brainstem function during and operation. This is often used as a measure of safety when operating near or within the brainstem to avoid damaging vital brainstem function during surgery.