Objective: To analyze outcomes of cochlear implantation (CI) in prelingually-deafened, late-implanted patients.
Data sources: A search of MEDLINE and EMBASE was performed in February 2018 using SCOPUS for the intersection of "cochlear implant," "prelingual," "deaf," and "delay."
Review methods: Two independent reviewers screened all abstracts and titles for relevance, with conflicts resolved by either the primary or senior author. All articles passing this screen were subjected to a full-text review, during which the primary and senior author each examined manuscripts for inclusion and exclusion criteria. The Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool was used to assess potential sources of systematic error, and postoperative clinical outcomes were collected at the latest clinical follow-up.
Results: Twenty-eight articles were yielded in the final systematic review, accounting for 542 patients. For open-set sentence scores, 10 studies representing 240 patients showed an overall estimated improvement of 44.6% (95% CI: 38.0-51.2%). In terms of quality of life, studies generally showed improvement when looking at specific emotional, social, or hearing-specific domains, but not in global measures. Nonuser rates ranged from 0 to 9.5%.
Conclusion: Despite performance that is generally poorer than what is generally seen in "traditional" candidates, prelingually-deafened, late-implanted (PL-LI) CI users can experience benefit in terms of both QOL and audiometric scores. The wide range of performance that is reported in the literature highlights the importance of careful patient counseling.