The multichannel auditory brain stem implant: Performance in twenty patients

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Abstract

The auditory brain stem implant has been used effectively to provide hearing sensations to individuals deafened by bilateral auditory nerve tumors (neurofibromatosis type 2). During tumor removal, the auditory brain stem implant is implanted into the lateral recess of the fourth ventricle by a translabyrinthine approach and is intended to stimulate auditory neurons of the cochlear nucleus complex. A new eight-electrode multichannel auditory brain stem implant was developed and evaluated in 20 patients who had at least 3 months' experience with the device. Mild nonauditory sensations (primarily tingling in the head or torso) were encountered in some instances but could be managed by changing the stimulus characteristics or excluding electrodes. Testing of perceptual performance indicated significant benefit from the device for communication purposes, including sound-only sentence recognition scores in three patients ranging from 49% to 58% and ability to converse on the telephone. These results indicate that significant auditory benefit can be derived from direct multichannel electrical stimulation of the auditory portion of the human brain stem. (Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1998;118:291-303.)

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