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27.02.2019 | Otology | Ausgabe 5/2019 Open Access

European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology 5/2019

Expanding unilateral cochlear implantation criteria for adults with bilateral acquired severe sensorineural hearing loss

European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology > Ausgabe 5/2019
Wendy J. Huinck, Emmanuel A. M. Mylanus, Ad F. M. Snik
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To report on a retrospective cohort study on the effects of expanding inclusion criteria for application of cochlear implants (CIs) on the performance 1-year post-implantation.


Based on pre-implantation audiometric thresholds and aided speech recognition scores, the data of 164 CI recipients were divided into a group of patients that fulfilled conservative criteria (mean hearing loss at 0.5, 1 and 2 kHz > 85 dB HL and phoneme scores with hearing aids < 30%), and the remaining group of patients that felt outside this conservative criterion. Speech recognition scores (in quiet) and quality of life (using the NCIQ) of both groups, measured at 1-year post-implantation, were compared.


The group that felt outside the conservative criterion showed a higher phoneme score at 1-year post-implantation compared to the conservative group, suggesting that relaxed criteria have a positive influence on the speech recognition results with CI. With respect to quality of life, both groups significantly improved 1-year post-implantation. The conservative group showed a higher benefit on the advanced perception domain of the NCIQ. Based on their worse pre-implantation hearing, this was expected.


The data suggest that relaxation of CI indication positively affects the speech recognition performance of patients with severe hearing loss. Both groups of patients showed a positive effect of CI on the quality of life. This benefit relates to communication skills and the subjective day-to-day functioning in society.

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