Postoperative radiographic assessment of the Combi 40 cochlear implant

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1997 Dec;169(6):1689-94. doi: 10.2214/ajr.169.6.9393191.

Abstract

Objective: The aims of this study were to establish a plain radiographic technique for the assessment of the postoperative appearance, position, and insertion depth of the Combi 40 cochlear implant and to correlate the radiologic findings with surgical reports.

Subjects and methods: In an experimental study, an electrode of the Combi 40 device was inserted into the cochlea of a cadaveric skull. Digital radiographs were obtained in a modified Chausse III projection, in which the skull was placed supine on the radiography table with the infraorbitomeatal line strictly perpendicular to the film cassette. The skull was then rotated 30 degrees away from the side to be examined, and the central X-ray beam was angled 15 degrees cephalad to the infraorbitomeatal line. On these radiographs, the point of cochleostomy was marked by a needle tip and was projected inferior to the vestibule and on a line drawn through the superior semicircular canal and the vestibule. The appearance and position of the electrode was evaluated. An electrode was defined as completely inserted if all electrode contacts projected medial to the line drawn through the superior semicircular canal and the vestibule. We also studied cochlear implant insertion of the Combi 40 device in 37 patients. Postoperative digital radiographs of these patients were obtained and analyzed for the criteria as defined in the cadaveric study. In addition, the insertion depth of the electrode and the angle of insertion were measured on the radiographs. This depth was correlated with depth of insertion as estimated at surgery.

Results: The cadaveric study showed that the completely inserted electrode was seen on radiographs as a nonoverlapping spiral within the cochlea. All electrode contacts projected medial to the line drawn through the superior semicircular canal and the vestibule. In all 37 patients, the electrode could be seen without overlapping. According to our criteria, a completely inserted electrode was seen in 32 patients. In these patients, the insertion depth ranged from 21 to 34 mm and the angle of insertion ranged from 350 degrees to 810 degrees. In two patients, we saw a completely inserted electrode with a bend. In three patients, an incompletely inserted electrode was seen. Excellent correlation existed between the radiologic and surgical results with regard to insertion depth (r = .92).

Conclusion: Digital radiographs obtained in the modified Chausse III projection allow clear depiction of the electrode and avoid overlapping. Such radiographs enable a reliable and accurate assessment of the position and insertion depth of the electrode of this new cochlear implant. Such images can serve as a baseline for further radiographic examinations when extrusion or slippage of the electrode is clinically suspected.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cadaver
  • Cochlea / diagnostic imaging
  • Cochlear Implantation
  • Cochlear Implants*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postoperative Period
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement
  • Temporal Bone / diagnostic imaging