Objective: This study aimed to systematically review and analyse the available peer-reviewed literature reporting on the results of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs), transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) and click auditory brainstem responses (c-ABRs) in adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T1DM and T2DM).
Method: A comprehensive literature search was conducted across three electronic databases to identify English; peer-reviewed articles that included results of OAEs (DPOAEs and TEOAEs) and c-ABR tests in adult subjects with DM. Articles were selected according to predetermined selection criteria and critically reviewed independently by two researchers.
Results: 15 studies met the inclusion criteria for the systematic review while nine articles qualified for inclusion in the meta-analysis. DPOAE studies reported significantly reduced amplitudes with only one study reporting larger amplitudes. Abnormal TEOAEs were reported in all TEOAE studies, although these abnormalities were not always significant. Significantly delayed c-ABRs were reported in all ABR studies. Analysis of c-ABR mean wave latencies identified longer latencies for DM subjects, particularly for wave III and V, as well as for IPL I-III and I-V.
Conclusions: Subjects with T1DM and T2DM may present with clinical or subclinical impairment of the cochlear outer hair cells and both the peripheral and central auditory pathway.