Efficacy of Cochlear Implantation in Neurofibromatosis Type 2 Related Hearing Loss

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2023 Mar;132(3):284-293. doi: 10.1177/00034894221091010. Epub 2022 Apr 21.


Objective: To investigate the results of cochlear implantation in subjects with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) and bilateral vestibular schwannomas (VS).

Study design: Retrospective case series.

Setting: University-based tertiary referral center.

Subjects: Five subjects with NF2 and severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss.

Intervention: Cochlear implantation.

Main outcome measure: Surgical outcomes and audiometric performance after cochlear implantation.

Results: Five subjects (3 female, 2 male) were included in the study. The mean age at the time of implantation was 54 years old (range 35-78 years). Follow-up after cochlear implantation averaged 38 months (range 21-106 months). In the 5 implanted ears, 2 had no prior treatment, 1 had undergone prior radiation therapy, 1 underwent prior microsurgical removal, and 1 underwent prior microsurgical removal with adjuvant radiation therapy. The mean ipsilateral VS dimensions at time of implantation were 14 mm × 7.2 mm × 6.1 mm (mediolateral × anteroposterior × craniocaudal). Following cochlear implant activation, all 5 subjects achieved sound awareness, open set speech recognition, and 4 continue to be daily users of the devices.

Conclusion: Cochlear implantation is a viable hearing rehabilitation option for subjects with NF2 and severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. All subjects reported benefit with their cochlear implant, including open set speech recognition, enhanced lip-reading skills and environmental awareness of sound. Four subjects continued to demonstrate improved open-set speech recognition at the time of their last evaluations.

Keywords: auditory brainstem implant; cochlear implants; miscellaneous; neurofibromatosis; otolaryngology; otology; sensorineural hearing loss.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cochlear Implantation* / methods
  • Cochlear Implants*
  • Deafness* / surgery
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss* / surgery
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural* / etiology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurofibromatosis 2* / complications
  • Neurofibromatosis 2* / surgery
  • Neuroma, Acoustic* / complications
  • Neuroma, Acoustic* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Speech Perception* / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome