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Original Article
May 2004

Cochlear Implants for Children With Significant Residual Hearing

Author Affiliations

From the Cooperative Research Centre for Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Innovation, East Melbourne (Mss Dettman, Winton, and Hill and Dr Dowell); The University of Melbourne, Parkville (Mr D'Costa and Dr Dowell); and Cochlear Implant Clinic, The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, East Melbourne (Mss Dettman, Winton, Hill, and Williams and Dr Dowell), Australia. The authors have no relevant financial interest in this article.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004;130(5):612-618. doi:10.1001/archotol.130.5.612

Background  Previous research suggests that children with pure-tone averages of greater than 90 dB hearing level and/or open-set sentence perception of less than 30% may derive significant benefit from cochlear implantation.

Objective  To evaluate postoperative speech perception benefit and bilateral-bimodal benefit for 16 children whose preimplant speech perception scores exceeded conservative candidacy guidelines.

Study Design  Preimplant and postimplant repeated-measure design.

Methods  Sixteen child subjects who obtained 30% or greater on preimplant open-set sentence material, presented live voice audition alone, were selected for this study. Preimplant pure-tone averages ranged from 73 to 110 dB in the better aided ear. Preimplant and postimplant open-set word and sentence testing was completed in quiet and with competing background noise for separate ear and binaural conditions.

Results  Fourteen of 16 subjects had improved speech perception scores across all test materials after implantation. Group means were significantly higher for all test materials. Results in the bimodal-bilateral condition were significantly higher than implant alone for open-set word tests (scored for phonemes) and open-set sentences in quiet.

Conclusion  The results of this study suggest that, with appropriate counseling and management, some children with significant residual hearing benefit from cochlear implantation, in particular improved speech understanding due to bimodal-bilateral hearing.