Real-Time Intracochlear Electrocochleography Obtained Directly Through a Cochlear Implant

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Abstract

Hypothesis:

Utilizing the cochlear implant to record electrophysiologic responses during device placement is a feasible and efficacious technique for monitoring near real-time cochlear physiology during and following electrode insertion.

Background:

Minimizing intracochlear trauma during cochlear implantation has emerged as a highly researched area to help improve patient performance. Currently, conventional cochlear implant technology allows for the recording of electrically evoked compound action potentials (eCAPs). Acoustically evoked potentials may be more sensitive in detecting physiologic changes occurring as a result of electrode insertion. Electrocochleography obtained from within the cochlea allows hair cell and neural response monitoring along the cochlear spiral at locations where changes most likely would occur.

Methods:

Intracochlear electrocochleography (ECochG) was recorded from the cochlear implant during surgery in 14 subjects. A long acquisition time (54.5 ms), capable of measuring potentials from the low frequency-serving apical region of the cochlea (125 and 500 Hz) was employed. Two distinct intracochlear processing methods were used and compared in obtaining electrophysiologic data.

Results:

Measureable intracochlear ECochG responses were obtained from all 14 participants. The 1st harmonic distortions (cochlear microphonic and auditory nerve neurophonic) generally increased steadily with electrode insertion. Electrode and frequency scan following insertion revealed that response amplitude varied based on location of recording electrode and frequency of stimulation. Exquisite sensitivity to manipulation during round window muscle packing was demonstrated.

Conclusion:

Intracochlear ECochG recorded from the electrode array of the cochlear implant is a highly feasible technique that sheds light on cochlear micromechanics during cochlear implant electrode placement.

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