Background/Aims: The combined electric acoustic stimulation (EAS) of one ear is a topic that has received considerable attention over the last 10 years, the technique having originally been introduced by Prof. Christoph A. von Ilberg for so-called borderline adult cochlear implant (CI) candidates. Its development has followed several parallel strands, including the modification of existing surgical approaches and the use of different CI devices (including new designs of electrode), as well as having been applied to various different groups of patients. The aim of the study described herein was to investigate the application of EAS in children with partial deafness (PD). Methods: In 2002, we performed the first implantation of an adult patient with PD, in which we pioneered the technique of partial deafness cochlear implantation (PDCI). Encouraged by the outstanding results achieved by the application of EAS in adults, we have extended its application to children who have a significant amount of residual hearing in the ear selected for implantation. Between September 2004 and December 2007, 15 children with PD and 10 platinum hearing aid users were implanted with either a COMBI 40+ or a PULSAR, using the ‘round window’ technique to increase the probability of hearing preservation. Results: Monosyllabic word recognition increased over a 12-month period in the platinum group, from 31 to 60% under quiet conditions and from 1 to 19% under noisy conditions. In the PDCI group, the commensurate increase was from 34 to 67% under quiet conditions and from 7 to 47% under noisy conditions. Conclusion: The application of EAS in children gives them the ability to understand speech, hence allowing the child’s overall communication skills to be improved by increasing their efficiency and effectiveness.
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