Using Electrically-evoked Compound Action Potentials to Estimate Perceptive Levels in Experienced Adult Cochlear Implant Users

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Abstract

Hypothesis:

The cochlear implant (CI) fitting level prediction accuracy of electrically-evoked compound action potential (ECAP) should be enhanced by the addition of demographic data in models.

Introduction:

No accurate automated fitting of CI based on ECAP has yet been proposed.

Methods:

We recorded ECAP in 45 adults who had been using MED-EL CIs for more than 11 months and collected the most comfortable loudness level (MCL) used for CI fitting (prog-MCL), perception thresholds (meas-THR), and MCL (meas-MCL) measured with the stimulation used for ECAP recording. Linear mixed models taking into account cochlear site factors were computed to explain prog-MCL, meas-MCL, and meas-THR.

Results:

Cochlear region and ECAP threshold were predictors of the three levels. In addition, significant predictors were the ECAP amplitude for the prog-MCL and the duration of deafness for the prog-MCL and the meas-THR. Estimations were more accurate for the meas-THR, then the meas-MCL, and finally the prog-MCL.

Conclusion:

These results show that 1) ECAP thresholds are more closely related to perception threshold than to comfort level, 2) predictions are more accurate when the inter-subject and cochlear regions variations are considered, and 3) differences between the stimulations used for ECAP recording and for CI fitting make it difficult to accurately predict the prog-MCL from the ECAP recording. Predicted prog-MCL could be used as bases for fitting but should be used with care to avoid any uncomfortable or painful stimulation.

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