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Evaluation of auditory pathway excitability using a pre-operative trans-tympanic electrically evoked auditory brainstem response under local anesthesia in cochlear implant candidates

Int J Audiol. 2022 Aug 27:1-11. doi: 10.1080/14992027.2022.2114024. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Subjective promontory stimulation is used to evaluate cochlear implant (CI) candidacy, but the test reliability is low. Electrically evoked auditory brainstem response (EABR) can verify the function of the auditory system objectively. This study’s procedure uses a trans-tympanic rounded bent-tip electrode to perform pre-operative EABR under local anaesthesia (LA-TT-EABR) using MED-EL Software and Hardware. This study aimed to determine usability and effectiveness for CI candidates.

DESIGN: We hypothesised that LA-TT-EABR waveforms of good quality would be related to successful hearing outcomes. We assumed that the duration of hearing loss/deafness was a confounding factor to study outcomes.

STUDY SAMPLE: 19 borderline CI candidates.

RESULTS: Positive LA-TT-EABR results were confirmed in 14 patients. LA-TT-EABR’s mean latency was 2.05 ± 0.31 ms (eII/eIII) and 4.24 ± 0.39 ms (eIV/eV). Latencies weren’t statistically different from intra-operative EABR elicited by basal CI contacts. All positive LA-TT-EABR patients benefitted from CI and speech performance improved one year after implantation. One patient with negative LA-TT-EABR was cochlear-implanted and had no hearing sensation.

CONCLUSIONS: LA-TT-EABR is a tool in the frame of pre-operative objective testing the auditory pathway. It seems useful for clinical testing CI candidacy. Based on this study’s outcomes, LA-TT-EABR should be recommended for uncertain CI candidates.

PMID:36036176 | DOI:10.1080/14992027.2022.2114024

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