Sound localization ability of young children with bilateral cochlear implants

Otol Neurotol. 2007 Jun;28(4):479-85. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3180430179.


Objective: To evaluate the benefit of bilateral cochlear implantation in young children.

Study design: Clinical trial comparing a group of bilaterally implanted children with a group of unilaterally implanted children.

Setting: Tertiary referral center.

Patients: Five bilaterally implanted children (mean age at testing, 3 yr 7 mo) were compared with 5 unilaterally implanted children (mean age at testing, 5 yr 3 mo). Meningitis was the cause of deafness in all of the children.

Methods: Children were asked to localize a prerecorded melody band limited from 500 to 4,000 Hz presented from loudspeakers placed at either -90 or 90 degrees or -30 or 30 degrees azimuth. Their parents filled in the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ) and PedsQL questionnaires on hearing and health-related quality of life of their children.

Results: The bilaterally implanted children had significantly better scores on the localization test than the children with unilateral cochlear implants. The scores of the children with bilateral cochlear implants were also significantly higher on the spatial domain of the SSQ, which concerns localization. No significant differences were found in the speech and quality of hearing domains and the total scores on the SSQ or the PedsQL between the two groups.

Conclusion: Children with bilateral cochlear implantation already demonstrate an advantage over unilaterally implanted children at a young age.

MeSH terms

  • Audiometry
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cochlear Implants*
  • Deafness / etiology
  • Deafness / physiopathology
  • Deafness / therapy*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Meningitis / complications
  • Parents
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sound Localization / physiology*
  • Speech Perception / physiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires