The Role of Electrode Placement in Bilateral Simultaneously Cochlear-Implanted Adult Patients

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the influence of the electrode placement on hearing performance in adult patients who were simultaneously and bilaterally cochlear implanted.

Study Design

Case series with planned data collection.

Setting

Tertiary referral university centers.

Subjects and Methods

The postoperative computed tomography scan was studied for 19 patients who were simultaneously and bilaterally implanted with a long straight electrode array. The size of the cochlea was measured in consideration of the major cochlear diameter and cochlear height. The electrode-to-modiolus distance for the electrodes positioned at 180 and 360 degrees and the angular depth of insertion of the array were also measured. Speech perception was assessed at 1 and 5 years postimplantation with disyllabic word lists in quiet and in noise, with the speech coming from the front and a background noise (cocktail party) coming from 5 loudspeakers.

Results

At 1 year postimplantation, the electrode-to-modiolus distance at 180 degrees was correlated with the speech perception scores in both quiet and noise. In patients with a full electrode insertion, no correlation was found between the angular depth of insertion and hearing performance. The speech perception scores in noise gradually declined as a function of the number of inserted and active electrodes. No relationship between electrode position and speech perception scores was found at 5 years postimplantation.

Conclusion

In adult patients who were simultaneously and bilaterally implanted, the use of a long straight array, the full electrode array insertion, and the proximity to the modiolus might be determining factors to obtain the best speech performance at 1 year, without influence on the speech perception scores after long-term use.

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