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The first implanted ear profits from the rehabilitation of the contralateral side in sequential bilateral cochlear implantation
18 April 2018 (online)
Cochlear implantation in elderly patients is a low risk procedure provided a deliberative indication. Although in general speech intelligibility is correlated indirectly with age, the benefit for the patients is significant. It remains unclear whether the established rehabilitative concept meets all requirements of this particular group. Therefore it was the aim of this study to investigate the effect of a second rehabilitation on the hearing results of a cochlear implanted ear.
The implant database was filtered according the following criteria: sequentially bilaterally implanted adults with a time interval of at least 2 years between both surgeries. Revision cases were excluded. The speech intelligibility results before and up to 2 years after implantation of the contralateral side were compared.
205 patients were included into the retrospective analysis. Speech intelligibility (monosyllables in quiet at 65 dB) was 59.7 ± 26.1% (mean ± standard deviation) before rehabilitation of the contralateral ear. After rehabilitation the same test reveald an 70.9 ± 25.2%. The average improvement of 11.2% was highly significant (one-sided Wilcoxon rank sum test, p < 0.01). Regression analysis showed neither a dependance to age at second side surgery nor time interval between first and second ear.
The primary goal of the second rehabilitation of sequentially bilaterally implanted CI patients is the optimization of the second side. Despite this we were able to show that also the first ear profits from this measure signifcantly. Different causes may be discussed. In the end the results underline the potential of repeated rehabilitation on speech intelligibility.