Hearing Preservation CI Surgery and Hybrid Hearing : From Anatomical Aspects to Patient Satisfaction

Sammanfattning: A common cause of profound deafness is hair cell dysfunction in the cochlea. Cochlear implants (CI) bypass the hair cells via an electrode and stimulate the cochlear nerve directly. Nowadays, it is possible to preserve residual hair cell function and hearing through flexible electrodes and a-traumatic CI surgery techniques; called hearing preservation CI surgery. This may suit partially deaf patients who can use natural low frequency hearing in combination with electric high frequency hearing; so-called hybrid hearing. The aim of this thesis was to elucidate the effectiveness of hearing preservation CI surgery. The thesis demonstrates human cochlear anatomy in relation to CI and evaluates hearing and patient satisfaction after hearing preservation CI surgery.Analyses of human cochlear moulds belonging to the Uppsala collection showed large variations in dimensions and coiling characteristics of the cochlea. Each cochlea was individually shaped. The size and shape of the cochlea influences the position of the electrode. The diameter of the basal cochlear turn could predict insertion depth of the electrode, which is crucial for hearing preservation. The first 21 patients operated with hearing preservation CI surgery in Uppsala, showed preserved hearing.Nine-teen partially deaf patients receiving implants intended for hybrid hearing, were evaluated concerning pure tone audiometry, monosyllables (MS) and hearing in noise test (HINT). They also responded to a questionnaire, consisting of the IOI-HA, EQ-5D VAS and nine questions about residual hearing. The questionnaire results indicated a high degree of patient satisfaction with improved speech perception in silence and noise. This was also reflected by improved results in MS and HINT. Hearing was preserved in all patients, but there was an on-going deterioration of the residual hearing in the operated ear which surpassed the contralateral ear. There were no correlations between the amount of residual hearing and patient satisfaction or speech perception results. Electric stimulation provides a major contribution to speech comprehension in partially deaf patients. All the patients showed a high degree of satisfaction with their CI, regardless of varying hearing preservation.