The Impact of Patient Factors on Objective Cochlear Implant Verification Using Acoustic Cortical Auditory-Evoked Potentials

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Introduction: Hearing loss is a major global public health issue that negatively impacts quality of life, communication, cognition, social participation, and mental health. The cochlear implant (CI) is the most efficacious treatment for severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. However, variability in outcomes remains high among CI users. Our previous research demonstrated that the existing subjective methodology of CI programming does not consistently produce optimal stimulation for speech perception, thereby limiting the potential for CI users to derive the maximum device benefit to achieve their peak potential. We demonstrated the benefit of utilising the objective method of measuring auditory-evoked cortical responses to speech stimuli as a reliable tool to guide and verify CI programming and, in turn, significantly improve speech perception performance. The present study was designed to investigate the impact of patient- and device-specific factors on the application of acoustically-evoked cortical auditory-evoked potential (aCAEP) measures as an objective clinical tool to verify CI mapping in adult CI users with bilateral deafness (BD). Methods: aCAEP responses were elicited using binaural peripheral auditory stimulation for four speech tokens (/m/, /g/, /t/, and /s/) and recorded by HEARLab & TRADE; software in adult BD CI users. Participants were classified into groups according to subjective or objective CI mapping procedures to elicit present aCAEP responses to all four speech tokens. The impact of patient- and device-specific factors on the presence of aCAEP responses and speech perception was investigated between participant groups. Results: Participants were categorised based on the presence or absence of the P1-N1-P2 aCAEP response to speech tokens. Out of the total cohort of adult CI users (n = 132), 63 participants demonstrated present responses pre-optimisation, 37 participants exhibited present responses post-optimisation, and the remaining 32 participants either showed an absent response for at least one speech token post-optimisation or did not accept the optimised CI map adjustments. Overall, no significant correlation was shown between patient and device-specific factors and the presence of aCAEP responses or speech perception scores. Conclusion: This study reinforces that aCAEP measures offer an objective, non-invasive approach to verify CI mapping, irrespective of patient or device factors. These findings further our understanding of the importance of personalised CI rehabilitation through CI mapping to minimise the degree of speech perception variation post-CI and allow all CI users to achieve maximum device benefit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-106
Number of pages11
JournalAudiology and Neurotology
Issue number2
Early online date8 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2023


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