Decision making in bone conduction and active middle ear implants - hearing outcomes and experiences over a 10-year period

Cochlear Implants Int. 2023 Oct 17:1-7. doi: 10.1080/14670100.2023.2267900. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: To review the decision-making paradigm in the recommendations of BCI and aMEI overlapping candidacy for patients with conductive or mixed HL, and to determine if there are differences in hearing and quality of life outcomes between these implantable hearing devices.

Methods: Retrospective data from patients receiving BCI or aMEI in the past decade were analysed. Patients were grouped into: 1. BCI candidates, 2. BCI or aMEI candidates, and 3. aMEI candidates. We compared outcomes and examined the impact of BC threshold, age at implantation, and duration of hearing loss on candidacy.

Results: 89 participants were included: 30 BCI, 37 aMEI, and 22 BCI or aMEI candidates. All groups performed similarly in aided sound field threshold testing. BCI group had lower speech scores in quiet compared to 'BCI or aMEI.' No significant differences were found in APHAB global scores. BC threshold, duration of hearing loss, and age at implantation had no significant effects.

Discussion: Outcomes were generally similar across groups, except for higher effective gain in the aMEI group.

Conclusion: Our proposed patient pathway and decision-making approach facilitate candidate selection for aMEI and BCI, aiming to optimise outcomes.

Keywords: Bone conduction implant; Candidacy overlap; Hearing outcomes; Middle ear implant.