Background: The middle latency response (MLR) first came to light as an auditory evoked potential in 1958. Since then, it has aroused substantial interest and investigation by clinicians and researchers alike. In recent history, its use and popularity have dwindled in tandem with various other auditory evoked potentials in audiology. One area for which MLR research and application has been overlooked is its potential value in measuring the neural integrity of the auditory thalamocortical pathway. In a broader sense, the MLR, when combined with the auditory brain stem response, can provide information concerning the status of much of the central auditory system pathways. This review is intended to provide information concerning the MLR as a measure of central auditory function for the reader to consider. Purpose: To review and synthesize the scientific literature regarding the potential value of the MLR in assessing the integrity of the central auditory system and to provide the reader an informed perspective on the value of the MLR in this regard. Information is also provided on the MLR generator sites and fundamental characteristics of this evoked potential essential to its clinical and or research application. Research Design: A systematic review and synthesis of the literature focusing on the MLR and lesions of the central auditory system. Study Sample: Studies and individual cases were reviewed and analyzed that evidenced documented lesions of the central auditory nervous system. Data Collection and Analysis: The authors searched and reviewed the literature (journal articles, book chapters, and books) pertaining to central auditory system lesion effects on the MLR. Results: Although findings varied from study to study, overall, the MLR was reasonably sensitive and specific to neurological compromise of the central auditory system. This finding is consistent with the generator sites of this evoked potential. Conclusions: The MLR is a valuable tool for assessing the integrity of the central auditory system. It should be of interest to the clinician or researcher who focuses their attention on the function and dysfunction of the higher auditory system.
- Auditory evoked potentials
- Central auditory nervous system
- Middle latency response
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Speech and Hearing