OBJECTIVE - To test the use of a novel, image-guided cochlear implant (CI) programming (IGCIP) technique on prelingually deafened, adult CI recipients.
STUDY DESIGN - Prospective unblinded study.
SETTING - Tertiary referral center.
PATIENTS - Twenty-six prelingually deafened adult CI recipients with 29 CIs (3 bilateral).
INTERVENTION(S) - Temporal-bone CT scans were used as input to a series of semiautomated computer algorithms which estimate the location of electrodes in reference to the modiolus. This information was used to selectively deactivate suboptimally located electrodes, i.e., those for which the distance from the electrode to the modiolus was further than a neighboring electrode to the same site. Patients used the new IGCIP program exclusively for 3-5 weeks.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S) - Minimum Speech Test Battery (MSTB), quality of life (QOL), and spectral modulation detection (SMD).
RESULTS - On average one-third of electrodes were deactivated. At the group level, no significant differences were noted for MSTB measures nor for QOL estimates. Average SMD significantly improved after IGCIP reprogramming, which is consistent with improved spatial selectivity. Using 95% confidence interval data for CNC, AzBio, and BKB-SIN at the individual level, 76 to 90% of subjects demonstrated equivocal or significant improvement. Ultimately 21 of 29 (72.41%) elected to keep the IGCIP map because of perceived benefit often substantiated by improvement on either MSTB, QOL, and/or SMD.
CONCLUSIONS - Knowledge of the geometric relationship between CI electrodes and the modiolus appears to be useful in adjusting CI maps in prelingually deafened adults. Long-term improvements may be observed resulting from improved spatial selectivity and spectral resolution.