Reversible alteration of brainstem auditory evoked potential in iron deficient anemic patients in response to treatment

Sushant Gupta, Geetanjali Sharma, Sudhir K. Atri, Priyanka Sharma


Background: Iron deficiency anemia is associated with central and peripheral nervous system disturbances. Iron is an essential component of brain growth, myelination, nerve impulse conduction, protein synthesis, hormone production, fundamental aspects of cellular energy metabolism and is involved in neurotransmitter synthesis including serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Hence, its deficiency adversely affects motor performance, mental development as well as cognitive and behavioral functions. Since myelination is concerned with conduction in nerve fibers, iron deficiency potentially impairs neuronal transmission and leads to functional neurodeficit like hearing loss.

Methods: BAEP was recorded using RMS EMG EP MK2 machine in patients of iron deficiency anemia with haemoglobin less than 10.9 g/dl between 18-50 years of age who were followed up after 3 months of treatment and compared with 30 age and sex matched controls.

Results: BAEP absolute and interpeak latencies were prolonged in IDA patients as compared to the control groups which was reversible with iron replacement therapy.

Conclusions: Increased absolute and interpeak latencies of BAEP indicates impairment of auditory pathways in IDA patients. Thus, the electrophysiological study of BAEP provides an objective method for monitoring the function of CNS, especially the auditory function in iron deficiency anemia patients before and after iron replacement therapy. It is a non-invasive test for early diagnosis and therefore early treatment to prevent complications.



Brainstem auditory evoked potential, Central Nervous system, Iron deficiency anemia

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