Auditory brainstem response in infants and children with autism spectrum disorder: A meta-analysis of wave V

Oren Miron, Andrew L. Beam, Isaac S. Kohane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Infants with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were recently found to have prolonged auditory brainstem response (ABR); however, at older ages, findings are contradictory. We compared ABR differences between participants with ASD and controls with respect to age using a meta-analysis. Data sources included MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, Google Scholar, HOLLIS, and ScienceDirect from their inception to June 2016. The 25 studies that were included had a total of 1349 participants (727 participants with ASD and 622 controls) and an age range of 0–40 years. Prolongation of the absolute latency of wave V in ASD had a significant negative correlation with age (R2 = 0.23; P = 0.01). The 22 studies below age 18 years showed a significantly prolonged wave V in ASD (Standard Mean Difference = 0.6 [95% CI, 0.5–0.8]; P < 0.001). The 3 studies above 18 years of age showed a significantly shorter wave V in ASD (SMD = −0.6 [95% CI, −1.0 to −0.2]; P = 0.004). Prolonged ABR was consistent in infants and children with ASD, suggesting it can serve as an ASD biomarker at infancy. As the ABR is routinely used to screen infants for hearing impairment, the opportunity for replication studies is extensive. Autism Res 2018, 11: 355–363.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalAutism Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank all the authors that created the studies that we analyzed in our meta-analysis and the participants who made those studies possible. We would like to thank Drs. Karmel, Cohen and Gardner [Cohen et al.,] for sending mean latencies and gender ratios from their infant Autism Spectrum Disorder study. None of the authors received financial compensation for providing the information for this study. The study was presented as a poster in the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Symposium by Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital and MIT (Boston, MA; November 2nd 2016). All authors report no biomedical financial interests or potential conflicts of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors Autism Research published by International Society for Autism Research and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • auditory
  • biomarker
  • children
  • event related potential
  • infants


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