Intraoperative Observational Real-time Electrocochleography as a Predictor of Hearing Loss After Cochlear Implantation: 3 and 12 Month Outcomes

Stephen O'Leary, Robert Briggs, Jean Marc Gerard, Claire Iseli, Benjamin P.C. Wei, Sylvia Tari, Alex Rousset, Christo Bester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: A decrease in intracochlear electrocochleographic (ECochG) amplitude during cochlear implantation has been associated with poorer postoperative hearing preservation in several short-term studies. Here, we relate the stability of ECochG during surgery to hearing preservation at 3- and 12-months. Methods: Patients with hearing ≤80-dB HL at 500 Hz were implanted with a slim-straight electrode array. ECochG responses to short, high-intensity, 500-Hz pure tones of alternating polarity were recorded continuously from the apical-most electrode during implantation. No feedback was provided to the surgeon. ECochG amplitude was derived from the difference response, and implantations classified by the presence ("ECochG drop") or absence ("no drop") of a ≥30% reduction in ECochG amplitude during insertion. Residual hearing (relative and absolute) was reported against the ECochG class. Results: ECochG was recorded from 109 patients. Of these, interpretable ECochG signals were recorded from 95. Sixty-six of 95 patients had an ECochG drop during implantation. Patients with an ECochG drop had poorer preoperative hearing above 1000 Hz. Hearing preservation (in decibels, relative to preoperative levels and functionally) was significantly poorer at 250-, 500-, and 1000-Hz at 3 months in patients exhibiting an ECochG drop. Twelve-month outcomes were available from 85 patients, with significantly poorer functional hearing, and greater relative and absolute hearing loss from 250 to 1000 Hz, when an ECochG drop had been encountered. Conclusion: Patients exhibiting ECochG drops during implantation had significantly poorer hearing preservation 12 months later. These observational outcomes support the future development of surgical interventions responsive to real-time intracochlear ECochG. Early intervention to an ECochG drop could potentially lead to prolonged improvements in hearing preservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1222-1229
Number of pages8
JournalOtology & Neurotology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


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