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Hearing Balance Commun. 2014;12(3):155-158. Epub 2014 Jun 11.

Middle Ear Disease and Cochlear Implant Function: A Case Study.

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Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, KY USA.



It has been our clinical observation that active middle ear disease (MED) temporally corresponds to a transient decrease in cochlear implant (CI) function, specifically at the apical electrodes. This is non-intuitive as CI function is thought to be independent of middle ear aeration and inflammation. The purpose of this case study is to demonstrate how active MED negatively affects both subjective hearing complaints and objective impedance measures in a CI patient.


Subjective hearing decreased and impedances levels increased significantly when the patient was experiencing active MED. No significant changes in these measures occurred when there was no active MED.


MED may affect CI function in some patients requiring adjustments in programing at times of involvement.


Cochlear Implant; Function; Impedance; Middle Ear Disease

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