Influence of Floating-Mass Transducer Coupling Efficiency for Active Middle-Ear Implants on Speech Recognition

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The efficiency of vibroplasty (coupler-floating mass transducer [FMT] assembly) can be monitored by direct stimulation of the inner ear through the active middle-ear implant system and comparison of the vibroplasty in vivo threshold and the postoperative bone-conduction pure-tone threshold. The aim of this study was to compare the vibroplasty in vivo threshold with the postoperative speech recognition in patients with a high preoperative maximum word recognition score.

Study Design:

Retrospective cohort study of German-speaking patients implanted with a vibrating ossicular prosthesis (VORP) 502 or VORP 503 and high preoperative maximum word recognition score between the years of 2011 and 2015.


Multicenter study of four German centers.


Twenty-three active middle-ear implant users.



Main Outcome Measures:

Bone-conduction pure-tone and vibroplasty thresholds, postoperative aided word recognition score (WRS) at 65 dB SPL (sound pressure level) and preoperative maximum WRS with Freiburg monosyllabic words.


The mean postoperative aided WRS at 65 dB SPL was 82%. An increasing difference between vibroplasty thresholds and bone-conduction thresholds was associated with a higher discrepancy between the unaided maximum WRS and the postoperative aided WRS. Only if this difference was less than 20 dB, an articulation index of 0.5 (WRS = 75%) or more was achieved.


Audiological outcome after vibroplasty depends on the coupling efficiency reflected by the vibroplasty threshold.

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