Brainstem Auditory-Evoked Potential (BAEP)

Norm of Brainstem Auditory-Evoked Potential (BAEP)

Morphologically normal waveform activity generated by electrical response to auditory stimulation.


Usage of Brainstem Auditory-Evoked Potential (BAEP)

Employed as an adjunct in the diagnosis of neurologic hearing deficits or children with language impairments; in the diagnosis and treatment of migraines, acoustic neuromas, chronic renal failure, and tuberculous meningitis; and in the determination of brain death versus reversible coma.
Adults of Brainstem Auditory-Evoked Potential (BAEP)
May be prescribed to test the time required for nerve signals to travel from the ear to the brainstem.


Description of Brainstem Auditory-Evoked Potential (BAEP)

A series of rapid clicks is delivered through earphones applied to the client. The brainstem response (electrical potential activity) is recorded through electrodes applied to the client's head. This recording (a series of waveform activities) is then interpreted by a physician skilled in electroencephalography.


Professional Considerations of Brainstem Auditory-Evoked Potential (BAEP)

Consent form NOT required.

  1. The test is generally performed in a neurology clinic or neurology diagnostic area even though portable test equipment is available and the test can be performed at the bedside.
  2. No pretest medication or preparation is required. The rationale behind the test should be explained to the client or family before the procedure.



  1. An electrode is placed on the scalp at the vertex, and a reference electrode is placed on the earlobe.
  2. Headphones, which mask the auditory responses of the outer ear, are applied.
  3. Auditory stimulation occurs, and the brainstem response is recorded as waveform activity.


Postprocedure Care

  1. Electrodes and headset are removed. The client may require transport from the test area back to the nursing unit.
  2. The test results are interpreted by the appropriate physician.
  3. No other special postprocedure care is required.


Client and Family Teaching

  1. Occasionally this test is used to determine brain death or the possible reversibility of coma. In this situation, close contact with the family by all members of the health care delivery team and the provision of emotional and educational support are essential.
  2. Parental teaching is important when the test is used to determine the presence of neural hearing loss in infants and children.


Factors That Affect Results

  1. Experience of the physician interpreting the results.
  2. Proper function of the acoustic and recording equipment.


Other Data

  1. A variation of this technique has been developed in which direct application of the recording electrodes to the brainstem is accomplished during neurosurgery to direct certain neurosurgical procedures.