Selecting electrode configurations for image-guided cochlear implant programming using template matching.

Zhang D, Zhao Y, Noble JH, Dawant BM
J Med Imaging (Bellingham). 2018 5 (2): 021202

PMID: 29250568 · PMCID: PMC5724566 · DOI:10.1117/1.JMI.5.2.021202

Cochlear implants (CIs) are neural prostheses that restore hearing using an electrode array implanted in the cochlea. After implantation, the CI processor is programmed by an audiologist. One factor that negatively impacts outcomes and can be addressed by programming is cross-electrode neural stimulation overlap (NSO). We have proposed a system to assist the audiologist in programming the CI that we call image-guided CI programming (IGCIP). IGCIP permits using CT images to detect NSO and recommend deactivation of a subset of electrodes to avoid NSO. We have shown that IGCIP significantly improves hearing outcomes. Most of the IGCIP steps are robustly automated but electrode configuration selection still sometimes requires manual intervention. With expertise, distance-versus-frequency curves, which are a way to visualize the spatial relationship learned from CT between the electrodes and the nerves they stimulate, can be used to select the electrode configuration. We propose an automated technique for electrode configuration selection. A comparison between this approach and one we have previously proposed shows that our method produces results that are as good as those obtained with our previous method while being generic and requiring fewer parameters.

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