Auditory brainstem implant (ABI): new frontiers in adults and children.

Previous studies have considered only patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) older than 12 years as candidates for an auditory brainstem implant (ABI). Our study expands the potential criteria to include both children and adult subjects with other cochlear or cochlear nerve malfunctions who either would not benefit at all from a cochlear implant (eg, cochlear nerve aplasia or avulsion) or whose benefit was or would be severely compromised (eg, cochlear ossification, cochlear fracture).
In our department, over the period from April 1997 to September 2002, 29 patients, 20 adults and 9 children, were fitted with ABIs. Their ages ranged from 14 months to 70 years. Thirteen subjects had tumors, 10 NF2 and 3 solitary vestibular schwannoma, and 16 patients had a variety of nontumor (NT) cochlear or cochlear nerve diseases. A retrosigmoid-transmeatal approach was used in T and a retrosigmoid approach in NT patients. The electrode array was inserted into the lateral recess of the fourth ventricle and correct electrode positioning was monitored with the aid of electrically evoked auditory brainstem responses (EABRs).
Correct implantation was achieved in all patients. No complications were observed due to implantation surgery or related to ABI activation or long-term use. Auditory sensations were induced in all patients with various numbers of electrodes (from 5 to 15). Different pitch sensations were identifiable with different electrode stimulation. Closed-set word recognition, open-set sentence recognition, and speech tracking scores achieved by the patients are reported in detail. The auditory performance of the patients showed significantly better outcomes than controls (Multicentric European clinical investigations on ABI with NF2).
We have shown that the indications for the ABI can be extended to include NT patients with severe cochlear and/or cochlear nerve abnormalities. The degree of auditory benefit varies as a function of the underlying pathological conditions, with NT subjects exhibiting significantly better outcomes than the T patients.
AuthorsVittorio Colletti, Marco Carner, Veronica Miorelli, Maurizio Guida, Liliana Colletti, Francesco Fiorino
JournalOtolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg) Vol. 133 Issue 1 Pg. 126-38 (Jul 2005) ISSN: 0194-5998 [Print] United States
PMID16025066 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Auditory Brain Stem Implantation (methods, trends)
  • Auditory Brain Stem Implants
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cochlear Diseases (complications, surgery)
  • Craniocerebral Trauma (complications, surgery)
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem (physiology)
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural (diagnosis, etiology, physiopathology, surgery)
  • Hearing Tests
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroma, Acoustic (complications, surgery)
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vestibulocochlear Nerve Diseases (complications, surgery)

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