Impact of Cochlear Implant Electrode Location on Audiological Outcome
Since initial FDA approval in 1984, cochlear implant (CI) technology has been highly successful in providing sound perception to over 200,000 hearing impaired individuals. While the vast majority of recipients perform well and can hear effectively with their CI, a minority of patients struggle with performance despite repeated efforts at modifying programming parameters. An exciting recent finding that may impact upon such poorly performing recipients is the use of imaging, specifically computerized tomography (CT), to assess intracochlear placement of CI electrode arrays determining if the array is positioned within the lower compartment of the cochlea, the scala tympani (ST), or the upper compartment of the cochlea, the scala vestibuli (SV). At least two groups have published pilot studies showing that ST placement is associated with better hearing outcomes.