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Laryngoscope. 2004 Dec;114(12):2218-23.

Cochlear implantation in patients with substantial residual hearing.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, U.S.A.



Cochlear implantation is an effective means for providing auditory rehabilitation in adult patients with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss. It has been hypothesized that patients with substantial, preoperative residual hearing would be excellent cochlear implant candidates because of surviving neural populations and a lack of auditory deprivation. The purpose of this study is to describe the outcomes of patients with substantial residual hearing who have undergone cochlear implantation.


Retrospective chart review of patients with substantial preoperative residual hearing who underwent cochlear implantation.


Chart reviews were completed for patients with substantial residual hearing who underwent cochlear implantation (City University of New York Sentence Test [CUNY] > 60%, Hearing in Noise Test sentences presented in quiet [HINTQ] > 50%, or Consonant-Nucleus-Consonant [CNC] > 20% in the ear to be implanted). Preoperative and postoperative measures of audiologic performance as well as complications were assessed.


All 12 patients who met inclusion criteria ultimately surpassed their preoperative aided performance level after implantation and gained significant benefit from their cochlear implant. At 6 months postimplantation, mean CUNY, HINTQ, and CNC scores were 93%, 78%, and 48% in the implant ear alone, respectively. However, progress was slower than expected for many patients, and at least one patient took 1 year to surpass his preoperative performance level. There were no complications from surgery in this selected group of patients.


Patients with some degree of residual hearing do benefit from cochlear implantation. However, there may be an initial decline in performance as compared with preoperative levels. This decline is overcome in time in this patient population. These patients need to be counseled accordingly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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