The new implantable hearing system Codacs™ was designed to close the treatment gap between active middle ear implants and cochlear implants in cases of severe-to-profound mixed hearing loss. The Codacs™ actuator is attached to conventional stapes prosthesis during the implantation and thereby provides acoustical stimulation through a stapedotomy to the cochlea. Cochlear implants (CIs) on the other hand are an established treatment option for profoundly deaf patients including mixed hearing losses that are possible candidates for the Codacs™.
In this retrospective study, we compared the clinical outcome of 25 patients with the Codacs™ (≥3 month post-activation) to 54 CI patients (two years post-activation) with comparable pre-operative bone conduction (BC) thresholds that were potential candidates for both categories of devices. The word recognition score (Freiburg monosyllables test) in quiet was significantly (p < 0.05) better in the Codacs™ than in the corresponding CI patients for average pre-operative bone conduction below 60 dB HL and equal in patients with a pre-operative BC PTA between 60 and 70 dB HL. Speech in noise intelligibility (HSM sentences test at +10 dB SNR) was significantly (p < 0.001) better in Codacs™ (80% median) than in CI patients (25% median) in all tested groups.
Our results indicate for patients with sufficient cochlear reserve that speech intelligibility in noise with the Codacs™ hearing implant is significantly better than with a CI. Further, results in Codacs™ were better predictable, encouraging the extension of the indication to patients with less cochlear reserve than reported here.