gms | German Medical Science

76th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

04.05. - 08.05.2005, Erfurt

Effects of air-coupled ultrasound on subjective patient sensation

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author Christian Offergeld - HNO-Univ.-Klinik Freiburg
  • Nadja Zillinger - HNO-Univ.-Klinik Dresden
  • Thomas Zahnert - HNO-Univ.-Klinik Dresden
  • Karl-Bernd Hüttenbrink - HNO-Univ.-Klinik Köln
  • Gert Hofmann - HNO-Univ.-Klinik Dresden

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. 76. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie e.V.. Erfurt, 04.-08.05.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05hno497

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2005

© 2005 Offergeld et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Nowadays new technical innovations (e.g. remote controls) are leading to an increasing amount of ultrasound exposition in daily life. Unfortunately there is lack of knowledge about effects of this kind of air-coupled ultrasound on the human ear and the central nervous system. Therefore possible effects of ultrasound on subjective patient sensation were examined by performance of a prospective study.

Patients and methods: An experimental study including 40 patients (20 female, 20 male) was performed. These patients underwent defined ultrasound exposition of different frequencies (40-200 kHz) on different days. Standardized questionnaires, audiometric examination and evaluation of physiologic parameters (Blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature) before and after ultrasound exposition allowed evaluation of patients‘ subjective sensations.

Results: Evaluation of questionnaires, audiometric findings and physiologic parameters didn’t show any signs of interaction between ultrasound exposition and general patient sensation. In contrast frequency-specific evaluation of patient results demonstrated some subjective patient complaints as e.g. tinnitus and different hearing sensation, especially in younger patients when using the 40 kHz sound source.

Conclusion: Ultrasound exposition of 40-200 kHz leads to no detectable general effect on subjective patient sensation under defined and short exposition time. Nevertheless there seem to be differences in patient sensation depending on age and applied frequencies.