Otologics Fully Implantable Hearing System: Phase I Trial 1-Year Results

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Abstract

Objective:

To assess the safety of the Otologics fully implantable hearing system after 1 year of use in a Phase I clinical trial.

Study Design:

Repeated-measures within-subjects design.

Setting:

Procedures were performed in a variety of facilities, including a university, military, and private hospital's ambulatory surgical center and outpatient clinical audiologic test facilities.

Patients:

Adult patients with bilateral moderate to severe sensorineural hearing loss.

Intervention(s):

Surgical insertion of this prosthesis included an atticotomy to expose the incus, securing the transducer to the mastoid bone, attaching the transducer tip to the incus via insertion into a laser-drilled hole, and postauricular implantation of the microphone/battery/electronics capsule.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Subjective patient benefit, aided sound field thresholds, and speech discrimination with the subject's own, appropriately fit, walk-in hearing aid(s) and the prosthesis were assessed.

Results:

There were no pre-post-implant differences noted for bone conduction: slight differences were noted in the pre-post-implant air conduction results (p < 0.05). These differences were attributed to the healing process and reversed to almost preimplant assessment levels by the third-month evaluation. Pure-tone averages and monaural word recognition scores were slightly better for the walk-in-aided condition (p < 0.05), whereas the patient benefit scales favored the postoperative implant-aided conditions.

Results:

Adverse effects of the implant were encountered on 14 occasions after the implantation of the 20 subjects. With the exception of partial device extrusions (that occurred later), all were rectified by the time of initial activation.

Results:

At the 12-month data collection point, problems that had been encountered by subjects included 1) partial device extrusion (3 subjects), necessitating explantation in 2; 2) loss of external communication (2 subjects), resulting in 1 explantation; and 3) increased charging times beyond 1.5 hours (7), resulting in 3 explantations and 2 patients not using their device while awaiting explantation.

Conclusion:

Phase I trial results provide evidence that this fully implantable device can provide sound amplification to sensorineural hearing loss patients, with performance results similar to the patients' walk-in hearing aids.

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