A review of cochlear implantation in mitochondrial sensorineural hearing loss

Otol Neurotol. 2003 May;24(3):418-26. doi: 10.1097/00129492-200305000-00012.


Objective: Mitochondrial sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) may be nonsyndromic (occurring in isolation), associated with the A1555G mutation in the MTRNR1 gene. Mitochondrial SNHL may also be syndromic, associated with the A3243G point mutation in the MTTL1 gene. In syndromic cases-mitochondrial encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and strokelike episodes (MELAS), maternally inherited diabetes and deafness, Kearns-Sayre syndrome, and chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia-the SNHL compounds already existing disabilities. The genetic basis for mitochondrial SNHL and postulated sites of pathologic changes are discussed.

Data sources: Sources used were relevant clinical and basic science publications.

Study selection: A search of the entire databases of Medline and Web of Science, using various subject headings and free-text terms, was used to identify patients with mitochondrial disease having cochlear implants.

Data extraction: The data from publications were critically reviewed and tabulated to assess implantation outcomes.

Data synthesis: The data were not amenable to formal meta-analysis or valid data summarization, other than descriptive statistics.

Conclusions: There is an increasing awareness of the prevalence of mitochondrial SNHL and its progressive nature. High-risk candidates warrant genetic testing and family screening. Correlating the data for mitochondrial SNHL as a treatable entity is important, and the authors present an overview of these patients successfully rehabilitated by cochlear implantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cochlear Implantation*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / genetics
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / complications
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnosis*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Kearns-Sayre Syndrome / complications
  • Kearns-Sayre Syndrome / genetics
  • MELAS Syndrome / complications
  • MELAS Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • MELAS Syndrome / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pedigree
  • Point Mutation / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vestibular Diseases / complications
  • Vestibular Diseases / physiopathology


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA
  • RNA, Transfer