Research on Early Cochlear Implantation in Children

January 25, 2012 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research, Uncategorized
Early Cochlear Implant Best for Deaf KidsBy Kurt Ullman, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today January 04, 2012Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

 

Action Points

■ Explain that children with prelingual hearing loss, who received a unilateral cochlear implant, experienced a highly significant improvement in speech perception scores from preoperative testing to year one.

■ Note that in another study, among children undergoing a cochlear implant before age 5, those who received bilateral implants performed significantly better on a receptive language test and expressive language tests.

When a deaf child receives a cochlear implant — and how many implants he gets — have a significant impact on hearing and language outcomes, according to the results of two recent studies.

Patients with shorter lengths of deafness and earlier age at implantation tended to outperform their peers, Susan B. Waltzman, PhD, and colleagues from the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, reported in the Jan. 2 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Specifically, children with prelingual hearing loss, who received a unilateral cochlear implant, experienced a highly significant improvement in speech perception scores from preoperative testing to year one. Scores improved for the Hearing in Noise (HINT) sentence test (mean change score 51.10%, P< 0.001) and the Consonant-Nucleus-Consonant (CNC) word test (mean change score 32.23%, P<0.001), they said.

In another retrospective study in the same journal, Tinne Boons, MA, from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and colleagues found that, among children undergoing a cochlear implant before age 5, those who received bilateral implants performed significantly better on a receptive language test (mean difference 9.4, 95% CI 0.3 to 18.6) and expressive language tests (15.7, 95% CI 5.9 to 25.4 and 9.7, 95% CI 1.5 to 17.9).

Waltzman’s group retrospectively reviewed 67 patients, ages 10 to 17, with profound sensorineural hearing loss who underwent a unilateral cochlear implantation between 1986 through 2009. The mean age at implantation was 12.9 years and the mean length of deafness, 11.5 years. Three-quarters of the children used oral communication prior to receiving the cochlear implant while 10% used manual communication and 15% used total or cued communications.

Full article at http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pediatrics/GeneralPediatrics/30498