Patterns Seen During Electrode Insertion Using Intracochlear Electrocochleography Obtained Directly Through a Cochlear Implant

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Abstract

Hypothesis:

Intraoperative, intracochlear electrocochleography (ECochG) will provide a means to monitor cochlear hair cell and neural response during cochlear implant (CI) electrode insertion. Distinct patterns in the insertion track can be characterized.

Background:

Conventional CI surgery is performed without a means of actively monitoring cochlear hair cell and neural responses. Intracochlear ECochG obtained directly through the CI may be a source of such feedback. Understanding the patterns observed in the “insertion track” is an essential step toward refining intracochlear ECochG as a tool that can be used to assist in intraoperative decision making and prognostication of hearing preservation.

Methods:

Intracochlear ECochG was performed in 17 patients. During electrode insertion, a 50-ms tone burst acoustic stimulus was delivered with a frequency of 500 Hz at 110 dB SPL. The ECochG response was monitored from the apical-most electrode. The amplitude of the first harmonic was plotted and monitored in near real time by the audiologist-surgeon team during CI electrode insertion.

Results:

Three distinct patterns in first harmonic amplitude change were observed across subjects during insertion: Type A (52%), overall increase in amplitude from the beginning of insertion until completion; Type B (11%), a maximum amplitude at the beginning of insertion, with a decrease in amplitude as insertion progressed to completion; and Type C (35%), comparable amplitudes at the beginning and completion of the insertion with the maximum amplitude mid-insertion.

Conclusion:

Three ECochG patterns were observed during electrode advancement into the cochlea. Ongoing and future work will broaden our scope of knowledge regarding the relationship among these patterns, the presence of cochlear trauma, and functional outcomes related to hearing preservation.

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