Auditory performance after cochlear implantation in late septuagenarians and octogenarians

Robert A. Williamson, Kristen Pytynia, John S. Oghalai, Jeffrey T. Vrabec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Previous studies have demonstrated consistent benefit in older adults undergoing cochlear implantation as compared with younger control groups, with age category thresholds between 60 and 70 years. The objective of this study is to report auditory performance in implant recipients older than 75 years, a cohort for which few data have been reported. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective chart review. SETTING: Academic cochlear implant program in a tertiary-care hospital. PATIENTS: Twenty-eight cochlear implant recipients were subdivided into implant users older than 80 years (Group 1) and recipients currently older than 75 years (Group 2). INTERVENTION: Cochlear implantation. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Open-set speech perception scores. METHODS: Postoperative open-set speech perception scores were compared with preoperative scores in the best-aided condition. Criteria were developed to define situations where the implant was considered to be nonbeneficial or less beneficial than amplification, and those data were then subjected to Kaplan-Meier analysis. RESULTS: Group 1 included 13 patients with mean age of 80.7 years at the time of implantation. Group 2 included 15 patients with a mean age of 71.6 years. Scores were significantly better postoperatively at 6 months (p < 0.01) for Group 2 and at 12 months (p < 0.01) for both Groups 1 and 2. Kaplan-Meier curves were constructed for both groups. CONCLUSION: Cochlear implantation in patients older than 75 years is beneficial, and Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrates that the clinical benefit is durable over time. Patients older than 80 years obtain similar benefit, although auditory performance was less robust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)916-920
Number of pages5
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Cochlear implantation
  • Elderly
  • Kaplan-Meier benefit analysis
  • Speech perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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