Intracochlear position of cochlear implant electrodes

Acta Otolaryngol. 1999 Mar;119(2):229-33. doi: 10.1080/00016489950181729.


There are many different types of cochlear implants available on the market today and they are constantly being re-evaluated and changed. Knowledge of the exact position of the electrode within the cochlea is important in order to improve the electrical stimulation of the hearing nerve by the implants. The stimulating electrodes are usually located peripherally within the scala tympani, although several attempts have been made to develop peri-modiolar located electrode arrays. In this study, our goal was to evaluate the intracochlear positions of Nucleus, Combi 40/Combi 40 +, and newly developed peri-modiolar positioned electrodes by inserting them into fresh human temporal bones. After insertion, the bones were then histologically processed with the electrodes in situ, following perilymphatic formalin perfusion and methylmethacrylate embedding. Sections of the bones 80-100 microm thick were prepared using a sawing, grinding and polishing technique. This technique resulted in excellent preservation of the inner ear structures and clear identification of each electrode. The different types of electrodes were then evaluated as to their insertion depth, trauma to cochlear structures and location in relation to the scala tympani walls.

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Cochlea / surgery
  • Cochlear Implantation* / methods
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Humans
  • Temporal Bone / surgery