Sudden onset of static equilibrium dysfunction in patients receiving a cochlear implant

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We investigated the sudden onset of static equilibrium dysfunction caused by cochlear implantation (CI) in congenital hearing loss patients.


Twenty-five patients were selected from a cohort of unilateral CI recipients to form the CI group. Static posturography was performed 1 to 3 days before and 3 to 5 days after CI. Each patient underwent the test with eyes open (EO) and eyes closed (EC) for 30 seconds, separately. Another group of age- and sex-matched patients with no history of hearing impairment undergoing unrelated surgeries formed the control group, and were examined with the same tests pre- and post-surgery. A third group of patients undergoing middle ear surgery formed the otitis media (OM) group. Postural sway parameters including sway velocity (SV) in the X-axis, SV in the Y-axis, length of sway locus length (LNG), and environmental area (ENV) were measured and recorded.


Comparison of pre-surgery posturographical parameters between the CI and control groups revealed no significant differences. Significant differences were found in most parameters in pre- and post-surgery comparisons in the CI group. Mean SV values in the X-axis pre- and post-surgery were 8.48 and 11.52 mm/s, respectively, in the EO condition (P < .05), and 14.94 and 20.16 mm/s, respectively, in the EC condition (P < .05). In the Y-axis, mean SV values were 15.36 and 20.24 mm/s pre- and post-surgery, respectively, in the EC condition (P < .05). The LNG values in the CI group pre- and post-surgery were 319.60 and 469.88 mm in the EO condition (P < .05), and 571.40 and 764.12 mm in the EC condition (P < .05). No significant functional equilibrium change was observed in the control group between pre- and post-surgery (P > .05) except SV in the X-axis and LNG in the EO condition (P < .05). No significant pre- and post-surgery differences were found in the OM group.


CI appeared to influence static equilibrium function within 1 week post-surgery. This influence was greater when eyes were closed.

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