Otol Neurotol. 2022 Jun 17. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000003547. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To analyze the relationship of electrode array (EA) type and position on hearing preservation longevity following cochlear implantation.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective chart review.
SETTING: Tertiary referral center.
PATIENTS: Adult cochlear implant recipients between 2013 and 2019 with hearing preserved postoperatively and postoperative CT scans.
INTERVENTIONS: CT scan analysis of EA position. Stepwise regression to determine influence of EA position, EA type, and patient demographics on postoperative low frequency hearing.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Low frequency pure tone average (LFPTA), LFPTA shift, angular insertion depth, base insertion depth, scalar position, mean perimodiolar distance.
RESULTS: Of 792 cochlear implant recipients, 121 had preoperative LFPTA ≤80 dB HL with 60 of the 121 (49.6%) implanted with straight, 32 (26.4%) with precurved, styletted, and 29 (24.0%) implanted precurved, nonstyletted EA. Mean follow up was 28.6 months (range 1-103). There was no statistically significant difference in activation, 6- and 12-month, and last follow-up LFPTA (125, 250, and 500 Hz) shift based on EA type (straight p = 0.302, precurved, styletted p = 0.52, precurved, nonstyletted p = 0.77). Preoperative LFPTA and age of implantation were significant predictors of LFPTA shift at activation, accounting for 30.8% of variance (F[2, 113] = 26.603, p < 0.0001). LFPTA shift at activation, scalar position, and base insertion depth were significant predictors of variability and accounted for 39.1% of variance in LFPTA shift at 6 months (F[3, 87] = 20.269, p < 0.0001). Only LFPTA shift at 12 months was found to be a significant predictor of LFPTA shift at last follow up, accounting for 41.0% of variance (F[1, 48] = 32.653, p < 0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: Patients had excellent long-term residual hearing regardless of EA type. Age, preoperative acoustic hearing, and base insertion depth may predict short term preservation, while 12-month outcomes significantly predicted long-term hearing preservation.