Speech perception benefits of sequential bilateral cochlear implantation in children and adults: a retrospective analysis

Otol Neurotol. 2008 Apr;29(3):314-25. doi: 10.1097/mao.0b013e3181662cb5.


Objective: To examine speech perception outcomes and determine the impact of length of deafness and time between implants on performance in the sequentially bilateral implanted population.

Study design: Retrospective review.

Setting: Tertiary academic referral center.

Patients: Forty-three children (age, <18 yr) and 22 adults underwent sequential bilateral implantation with at least 6 months between surgeries. The mean age at the time of the second implant in children was 7.83 years, and mean time between implants was 5.16 years. Five children received the first side implant (C1) below 12 months of age; 16, at 12 to 23 months; 9, between the ages of 24 and 35 months; and 11, at 36 to 59 months; 2 were implanted above the age of 5 years. In adults, mean age at second implant was 46.6 years, and mean time between implants was 5.6 years.

Intervention: Sequential implantation with 6 months or more between implantations.

Main outcome measures: Speech perception tests were performed preoperatively before the second implantation and at 3 months postoperatively.

Results: Results revealed significant improvement in the second implanted ear and in the bilateral condition, despite time between implantations or length of deafness; however, age of first-side implantation was a contributing factor to second ear outcome in the pediatric population.

Conclusion: Sequential bilateral implantation leads to significantly better speech understanding. On average, patients improved, despite length of deafness, time between implants, or age at implantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Audiometry, Speech
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cochlear Implantation / methods*
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sound Localization*
  • Speech Perception*
  • Treatment Outcome