Evidence-based guidelines for recommending cochlear implantation for postlingually deafened adults

Leigh, J.R. et al. International Journal of Audiology. Published online: 10 March 2016.

Image source: Medical Art Service. I, Christensen – Wellcome Images

Image shows artwork representing sound waves in the cochlear duct.

Objective: Adult selection criteria for cochlear implantation have been developed based on analysis of the post-operative performance of a large group of postlingually deafened adults. Original criteria published in 2004 were reviewed and amended to reflect outcomes currently being achieved by implant recipients.

Design: Retrospective review of 12-month post-operative speech perception performance of adults implanted at the Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

Study sample: A total of 382 postlingually deafened adults, using a Freedom, Nucleus 5, or CI422 Slim Straight cochlear implant were used to create a comparative set of data.

Results: Revised guidelines suggest that adults with postlingual hearing loss can now be considered cochlear implant candidates if they obtain scores of up to 55% for open-set phonemes in quiet in the ear to be implanted. Functional benefit may vary depending on the recipients’ contralateral hearing.

Conclusions: This study supports the provision of cochlear implants to candidates with significant residual hearing when at least one ear meets the criterion outlined above. Patient-specific counseling is required to ensure the potential to benefit predicted by the current model is acceptable to the individual patient and their family. Counseling regarding functional benefit must take into consideration hearing in the contralateral ear.

Read the abstract here


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