A Mid-scala Cochlear Implant Electrode Design Achieves a Stable Post-surgical Position in the Cochlea of Patients Over Time—A Prospective Observational Study

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Abstract

Introduction:

Cochlear implant (CI) electrode design impacts the clinical performance of patients. Stability and the occurrence of electrode array migration, which is the postoperative movement of the electrode array, were investigated using a mid-scalar electrode array and postoperative image analysis.

Methods:

A prospective observational study was conducted. A mid-scalar electrode was surgically placed using a mastoidectomy, followed by a posterior tympanotomy and an extended round-window or cochleostomy insertion. A few days after surgery and 3 months later Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) was performed. The two different CBCT's were fused, and the differences between the electrode positions in three dimensions were calculated (the migration). A migration greater than 0.5 mm was deemed clinically relevant.

Results:

Fourteen subjects participated. The mid-scalar electrode migrated in one patient (7%). This did not lead to the extrusion of an electrode contact. The mean migration of every individual electrode contact in all patients was 0.36 mm (95% confidence interval 0.22–0.50 mm), which approximates to the estimated measurement error of the CBCT technique.

Conclusion:

A mid-scalar electrode array achieves a stable position in the cochlea in a small but representative group of patients. The methods applied in this work can be used for providing postoperative feedback for surgeons and for benchmarking electrode designs.

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