Cochlear implantation in children with inner ear malformations

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1998 Jun;107(6):492-500. doi: 10.1177/000348949810700607.


We performed a case study and intervention study, with follow-up of 1 to 5 years, in 4 children with inner ear malformations who underwent implantation of a multichannel cochlear implant (Nucleus, Cochlear Corporation) at ages 3 to 12 years. Malformations included a common cavity deformity, 2 incomplete partitions, and 1 case of isolated bilateral vestibular aqueduct enlargement. One child had a single-channel implant placed at 3 years of age, and this was exchanged for a 22-channel implant at age 9. One child had her implant placed at age 4.5 years, but due to complications from a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak had the initial implant removed and replaced at age 5 years during repair of the CSF leak. Intraoperative findings included a CSF leak at the time of surgery in 3 patients. One patient contracted bacterial meningitis 7 months postimplantation that was thought to be secondary to acute otitis media in the unoperated ear. Bilateral CSF leaks were noted in the middle ear by a lumbar puncture radionuclide and fluorescein dye study. Successful repair of the CSF leaks and reimplantation of the cochlear implant was carried out in this patient. Mapping and programming of the implant was found to be challenging in each of these patients. All patients demonstrated improved performance after implantation. Two patients demonstrated some open-set speech perception. One patient demonstrates improved use of temporal cues in a structured closed set. One patient has achieved no significant speech recognition at this time, but does have improved sound detection and awareness. Cochlear implantation in children with congenital inner ear abnormalities can be a successful method of rehabilitation. It should be recognized that the postoperative speech perception results may be highly variable among patients, and that intraoperative complications may occur.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Otorrhea / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cochlear Implantation* / adverse effects
  • Ear, Inner / abnormalities*
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / etiology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Speech Perception