Passive Transcutaneous Bone Conduction Hearing Implants: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

Objective:

To systematically review the literature on currently available passive transcutaneous bone conduction hearing implants (pTCBI) with regard to complications, audiological outcomes, and quality-of-life scores.

Data Sources:

MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus, and Cochrane Library.

Study Selection:

All identified English-language articles reporting on the implantation of currently available pTCBI's and their complications. Both pediatric and adult patients were included. No limitation was placed on study design or level of evidence.

Data Extraction:

Complications, audiological outcomes including mean pure-tone average gain and mean speech reception threshold gain, and quality-of-life outcomes.

Data Synthesis:

Twenty-six articles were included in the review. Four hundred eighty-two pTCBIs have been reported in the literature. Major complications including skin breakdown, wound dehiscence, hematoma, seroma, and inability to use the device occurred in 5.2% of patients. Minor complications including pain and self-resolving erythema at the implant site occurred in 13.1% of the patients. The weighted mean pure-tone average gain of the two included devices was 28.4 ± 2.1 dB and the mean speech reception threshold gain was 32.9 ± 3.9 dB. Favorable quality-of-life scores have been demonstrated with pTCBIs.

Conclusion:

pTCBIs are a viable alternative to percutaneous devices in a carefully selected group of patients. These devices have demonstrated good audiological outcomes, low morbidity, and high patient satisfaction.

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