Intra-operative monitoring of cochlear function during cochlear implantation

John S. Oghalai, Ross Tonini, Jamie Rasmus, Claudia Emery, Spiros Manolidis, Jeffrey T. Vrabec, Joann Haymond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine if intra-operative auditory monitoring is feasible during cochlear implantation and whether this can be used as feedback to the surgeon to improve the preservation of residual hearing. This prospective non-randomised study was set in a paediatric tertiary referral hospital. Thirty eight consecutive paediatric patients undergoing cochlear implantation who had measurable auditory thresholds pre-operatively were divided into two cohorts. The unmonitored cohort included the first 22 patients and the monitored cohort included the last 16 patients. The main outcome measure(s) were pre-operative, intra-operative and more than one month post-operative average auditory thresholds at 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz measured using auditory steady-state response audiometry. The average pre-operative thresholds were 103.5 dB HL and 99.7 dB HL in the unmonitored and monitored cohorts, respectively. These were not statistically different (p > 0.3). In the monitored cohort, we measured auditory thresholds to assess cochlear function at multiple time points during the operation. Compared to baseline, thresholds were increased 0.7 dB after drilling the mastoidectomy and well, 0.2 dB after opening the cochlea and 4.6 dB after inserting the electrode array. One month post-operatively, the average thresholds were 114.0 dB HL in the unmonitored cohort but only 98.8 dB HL in the monitored cohort (p < 0.001). Both the use of intra-operative auditory monitoring and higher pre-operative thresholds were associated with improved preservation of residual hearing (p < = 0.001). Intra-operative auditory monitoring is a viable tool that can provide real-time feedback to the surgeon during cochlear implant surgery. These data suggest that this can lead the surgeon to modify his or her surgical technique in ways that can improve the rate of long-term hearing preservation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalCochlear Implants International
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Cochlea
  • Cochlear implant
  • Hearing loss
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing


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