Cochlear implants effective in patients with far advanced
Clinical-researchers from University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center
report that cochlear implantation provides an effective and safe way of
restoring hearing in patients with far advanced otosclerosis (FAO), a
hereditary condition that can lead to severe hearing loss.
"This is the first study to demonstrate that cochlear implants provide
robust and long-term hearing restoration for patients with FAO," said lead
author Maroun T. Semaan, M.D., an otolaryngologist with UH Case Medical
Center and an Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University School
of Medicine. "This is an important new treatment option for this challenging
group of patients."
FAO causes abnormal growth of bone in the middle and inner ear. This bone
prevents structures within the ear from working properly and it diminishes
hearing. Therapies have included fluoride pills to potentially prevent
development of hearing loss, but they will not improve hearing loss that has
already developed. Hearing aids are commonly prescribed for patients with
FAO. Surgery is an option with an operation called a stapedectomy, or
stapedotomy, where an otologist (ear surgeon) bypasses the diseased bone
with a prosthetic device that allows sound waves to be passed to the inner
ear. However, in cases with advanced disease, stapedectomy surgery is not
effective in restoring hearing, and the patient is essentially deaf, even
with the strongest hearing aids.
The authors studied the records of 30 patients with FAO with age-matched
controls who suffered from hearing loss from other causes besides FAO. The
researchers found that previous concerns about possible complications
thought to potentially affect cochlear implantation in FAO patients were not
seen using newer surgical techniques.
Cliff A. Megerian, MD, senior author on the study, noted, "Although a
significant percentage of these patients required the additional operative
step of 'round window drill out,' this finding in no way diminished the
excellent hearing outcomes enjoyed using cochlear implantation. In addition,
the study showed that the presence of abnormalities on radiographic imaging
did not affect hearing following implantation." Dr. Megerian is Director,
Otology, Neurotology, and Cochlear Implants, UH Case Medical Center, and a
Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
The findings were presented at the115th Annual Meeting of the Triological
Society, the most prestigious meeting for ear, nose and throat specialists.
Gail S. Murray, PhD, Director of Audiology Services at UH Case Medical
Center, was also an author on the paper.
The study was funded by UH Case Medical Center.
About University Hospitals
University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated
network of hospitals, outpatient centers and primary care physicians. At the
core of our health system is University Hospitals Case Medical Center. The
primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine,
University Hospitals Case Medical Center is home to some of the most
prestigious clinical and research centers of excellence in the nation and
the world, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics and
spine, radiology and radiation oncology, neurosurgery and neuroscience,
cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, organ transplantation and human
genetics. Its main campus includes the internationally celebrated UH Rainbow
Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked fourth in the nation for the care of
critically ill newborns; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital
for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case
Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information, go to www.uhhospitals.org
Source: University Hospitals