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Comprehensive analysis of cochlear implant failure: usefulness of clinical symptom-based algorithm combined with in situ integrity testing



Comprehensive analysis of cochlear implant failure: usefulness of clinical symptom-based algorithm combined with in situ integrity testing



Otology and Neurotology 35(4): 605-612



Accurate diagnosis of cochlear implant failures is important for management; however, appropriate strategies to assess possible device failures are not always clear. The purpose of this study is to understand correlation between causes of device failure and the presenting clinical symptoms as well as results of in situ integrity testing and to propose effective strategies for diagnosis of device failure. Retrospective case review. Cochlear implant center at a tertiary referral hospital. Twenty-seven cases with suspected device failure of Cochlear Nucleus systems (excluding CI512 failures) on the basis of deterioration in auditory perception from January 2000 to September 2012 in the Melbourne cochlear implant clinic. Clinical presentations and types of abnormalities on in situ integrity testing were compared with modes of device failure detected by returned device analysis. Sudden deterioration in auditory perception was always observed in cases with "critical damage": either fracture of the integrated circuit or most or all of the electrode wires. Subacute or gradually progressive deterioration in auditory perception was significantly associated with a more limited number of broken electrode wires. Cochlear implant mediated auditory and nonauditory symptoms were significantly associated with an insulation problem. An algorithm based on the time course of deterioration in auditory perception and cochlear implant-mediated auditory and nonauditory symptoms was developed on the basis of these retrospective analyses, to help predict the mode of device failure. In situ integrity testing, which included close monitoring of device function in routine programming sessions as well as repeating the manufacturer's integrity test battery, was sensitive enough to detect malfunction in all suspected device failures, and each mode of device failure showed a characteristic abnormality on in situ integrity testing. Our clinical manifestation-based algorithm combined with in situ integrity testing may be useful for accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of device failure. Close monitoring of device function in routine programming sessions as well as repeating the manufacturer's integrity test battery is important if the initial in situ integrity testing is inconclusive because objective evidence of failure in the implanted device is essential to recommend explantation/reimplantation.

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Accession: 052269744

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 24622015

DOI: 10.1097/mao.0000000000000267


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