OBJECTIVES: To assess the use of cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) to verify, and if necessary, optimize the cochlear implant (CI) fitting of adult CI users with postlingual single-sided deafness (SSD).
METHODS: Sound field cortical responses to the speech tokens /m/, /g/, /t/, and /s/ were recorded from input to the CI while the normal hearing ear was masked. Responses were evaluated by visual inspection and classified as presence or absence of the CAEPs components P1, N1, P2. In case of an absence fitting was adjusted accordingly. After fitting, subjects were asked to use their new setting for 2-3 weeks for acclimatization purposes and then return for retesting. At retesting, new CAEP recordings were performed to objectively ensure that the new fitting maps effectively activated the auditory cortex.
RESULTS: In 14/19 subjects, as per visual inspection, clear CAEPs were recorded by each speech token and were, therefore, not refit. In the other 5 subjects, CAEPs could not be evoked for at least one speech token. The fitting maps in these subjects were adjusted until clear CAEPs were evoked for all 4 speech tokens.
CONCLUSIONS: CAEP can be used to quickly and objectively verify the suitability of CI fitting in experienced adult CI users with SSD. If used in the early post-implantation stage, this method could help CI users derive greater benefit for CI use and, therefore, be more committed to auditory training.