Electrocochleography in Cochlear Implant Recipients With Residual Hearing: Comparison With Audiometric Thresholds

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Abstract

Objectives:

To determine whether electrocochleography (ECoG) thresholds, especially cochlear microphonic and auditory nerve neurophonic thresholds, measured using an intracochlear electrode, can be used to predict pure-tone audiometric thresholds following cochlear implantation in ears with residual hearing.

Design:

Pure-tone audiometric thresholds and ECoG waveforms were measured at test frequencies from 125 to 4000 Hz in 21 Advanced Bionics cochlear implant recipients with residual hearing in the implanted ear. The “difference” and “summation” responses were computed from the ECoG waveforms measured from two alternating phases of stimulation. The interpretation is that difference responses are largely from the cochlear microphonic while summating responses are largely from the auditory nerve neurophonic. The pure-tone audiometric thresholds were also measured with same equipment used for ECoG measurements.

Results:

Difference responses were observed in all 21 implanted ears, whereas summation response waveforms were observed in only 18 ears. The ECoG thresholds strongly correlated (r2 = 0.87, n = 150 for difference response; r2 = 0.82, n = 72 for summation response) with audiometric thresholds. The mean difference between the difference response and audiometric thresholds was −3.2 (±9.0) dB, while the mean difference between summation response and audiometric thresholds was −14 (±11) dB. In four out of 37 measurements, difference responses were measured to frequencies where no behavioral thresholds were present.

Conclusions:

ECoG thresholds may provide a useful metric for the assessment of residual hearing in cochlear implant subjects for whom it is not possible to perform behavioral audiometric testing.

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