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Audiol Neurootol. 2017;22(3):169-179. doi: 10.1159/000480345. Epub 2017 Oct 24.

Clinical investigation of the Nucleus Slim Modiolar Electrode.

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University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.



The Nucleus CI532 cochlear implant incorporates a new precurved electrode array, i.e., the Slim Modiolar electrode (SME), which is designed to bring electrode contacts close to the medial wall of the cochlea while avoiding trauma due to scalar dislocation or contact with the lateral wall during insertion. The primary aim of this prospective study was to determine the final position of the electrode array in clinical cases as evaluated using flat-panel volume computed tomography.


Forty-five adult candidates for unilateral cochlear implantation were recruited from 8 centers. Eleven surgeons attended a temporal bone workshop and received further training with a transparent plastic cochlear model just prior to the first surgery. Feedback on the surgical approach and use of the SME was collected via a questionnaire for each case. Computed tomography of the temporal bone was performed postoperatively using flat-panel digital volume tomography or cone beam systems. The primary measure was the final scalar position of the SME (completely in scala tympani or not). Secondly, medial-lateral position and insertion depth were evaluated.


Forty-four subjects received a CI532. The SME was located completely in scala tympani for all subjects. Pure round window (44% of the cases), extended round window (22%), and inferior and/or anterior cochleostomy (34%) approaches were successful across surgeons and cases. The SME was generally positioned close to the modiolus. Overinsertion of the array past the first marker tended to push the basal contacts towards the lateral wall and served only to increase the insertion depth of the first electrode contact without increasing the insertion depth of the most apical electrode. Complications were limited to tip fold-overs encountered in 2 subjects; both were attributed to surgical error, with both reimplanted successfully.


The new Nucleus CI532 cochlear implant with SME achieved the design goal of producing little or no trauma as indicated by consistent scala tympani placement. Surgeons should be carefully trained to use the new deployment method such that tip fold-overs and over insertion may be avoided.


Cochlear implant; Computed tomography; Electrode array

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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