Preliminary Results of Auditory Brainstem Implantation in Prelingually Deaf Children With Inner Ear Malformations Including Severe Stenosis of the Cochlear Aperture and Aplasia of the Cochlear Nerve

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The aim of our study is to present the results of 11 children where auditory brainstem implantation (ABI) was successfully performed to restore hearing.

Study Design:

Case presentation. This study was conducted at the departments of Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery at Hacettepe University Ankara, Turkey.


Between July 2006 and April 2008, 11 prelingual (30-56 mo) deaf children with several cochlear malformations had ABI.


All patients were programmed and were enrolled in auditory verbal therapy sessions and family counseling programs at Hacettepe Auditory Verbal Center. The evaluation was performed at preimplant and again 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months post-switch on.

Main Outcome Measures:

The main test components composing this test battery were Ling 6 Sound Detection-Identification Test, Word Identification Test in Turkish, Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale, and Meaningful Use of Speech Scale.


Successful brainstem implantations were performed in all patients with retrosigmoid approach. Six children gained basic audiologic functions and were able to recognize and discriminate sounds, and many could identify environmental sounds such as a doorbell and telephone ring by the third month of ABI. Improvement in mean performance on Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale is apparent for all ABI children. Improvement in Meaningful Use of Speech Scale scores in 2 patients, demonstrating that the child using its own voice for speech performance, was observed between the baseline and 12th month. First, 5 children were able to identify Ling's 6 sound by the end of 2 to 6 months, and 2 of them also started to identify words due to their pattern differences and multisyllabic word identification by 6 to 9 months. Two children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have made slower progress than the other children with ABIs.


Our preliminary results show that there is adequate contribution of brainstem implants in the development of auditory-verbal skills. Additional handicaps slow the progress of the prelingually deaf children.

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