Cochlear Implantation in Postlingual Adult Patients With Long-Term Auditory Deprivation

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The role of long-term hearing deprivation in cochlear implant performance is not well established, and the limits for implanting an auditory deprived ear are still unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of long-term auditory deprivation time on cochlear implant results.

Study Design:

Retrospective case review study.


Cochlear implantation tertiary referral center.


Adult patients with postlingual deafness.


Unilateral cochlear implantation between 2001 and January 2015.

Main Outcome Measures:

Age at implantation, sex, etiology of hearing loss, and duration of auditory deprivation in the implanted ear were collected. Cochlear implants results were expressed in terms of vowel identification, disyllabic word recognition, and sentence recognition.

Main Outcome Measures:

Spearman's correlation test was applied to determine the relationship between auditory deprivation time and speech recognition scores. Additionally, patients were divided according to their auditory deprivation time before implantation in group A (less than 10 yr) and group B (more than 10 yr).


One hundred three patients met inclusion criteria for this study. There were 61 patients in group A, with a mean deprivation time of 2.52 years. There were 42 patients in group B, with a mean deprivation time of 19.67 years.


There were no statistically significant differences between both groups regarding speech recognition scores.


Deprivation time in the implanted ear was not statistically correlated with cochlear implantation performance.


Long-term auditory deprivation in the ear to be implanted does not negatively influence cochlear implantation results and should not be considered criterion to reject cochlear implantation.

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