Conductive Component After Cochlear Implantation in Patients With Residual Hearing Conservation Purpose Changes in auditory thresholds following cochlear implantation are generally assumed to be due to damage to neural elements. Theoretical studies have suggested that placement of a cochlear implant can cause a conductive hearing loss. Identification of a conductive component following cochlear implantation could guide improvements in surgical techniques or ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   December 01, 2014
Conductive Component After Cochlear Implantation in Patients With Residual Hearing Conservation
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Richard A. Chole
    Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Timothy E. Hullar
    Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Lisa G. Potts
    Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Richard A. Chole: choler@wustl.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   December 01, 2014
Conductive Component After Cochlear Implantation in Patients With Residual Hearing Conservation
American Journal of Audiology, December 2014, Vol. 23, 359-364. doi:10.1044/2014_AJA-14-0018
History: Received March 26, 2014 , Revised August 1, 2014 , Accepted August 4, 2014
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2014, Vol. 23, 359-364. doi:10.1044/2014_AJA-14-0018
History: Received March 26, 2014; Revised August 1, 2014; Accepted August 4, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

Purpose Changes in auditory thresholds following cochlear implantation are generally assumed to be due to damage to neural elements. Theoretical studies have suggested that placement of a cochlear implant can cause a conductive hearing loss. Identification of a conductive component following cochlear implantation could guide improvements in surgical techniques or device designs. The purpose of this study is to characterize new-onset conductive hearing losses after cochlear implantation.

Method In a prospective study, air- and bone-conduction audiometric testing were completed on cochlear implant recipients. An air–bone gap equal to or greater than 15 dB HL at 2 frequencies determined the presence of a conductive component.

Results Of the 32 patients with preoperative bone-conduction hearing, 4 patients had a new-onset conductive component resulting in a mixed hearing loss, with air-conduction thresholds ranging from moderate to profound and an average air–bone gap of 30 dB HL. One had been implanted through the round window, 2 had an extended round window, and 1 had a separate cochleostomy.

Conclusions Loss of residual hearing following cochlear implantation may be due in part to a conductive component. Identifying the mechanism for this conductive component may help minimize hearing loss. Postoperative hearing evaluation should measure both air- and bone-conduction thresholds.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the Department of Otolaryngology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, and by National Institutes of Health Grant P30 DC004665-11 (awarded to Richard A. Chole). Portions of this article were presented at the 12th International Conference on Cochlear Implants and Other Implantable Auditory Technologies in Washington, DC, May 2012.
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