Cochlear Implant Channel Separation and Its Influence on Speech Perception – Implications for a New Electrode DesignArnoldner C.a · Riss D.a · Baumgartner W.-D.a · Kaider A.b · Hamzavi J.-S.a
aDepartment of Otorhinolaryngology and bCore Unit for Medical Statistics and Informatics, Section of Clinical Biometrics, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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Article / Publication Details
There are a variety of factors which can influence cochlear implantation outcome. Channel interaction is one of the variables responsible for audiological performance deterioration in multichannel implants. Electrode design is – among others – one way to decrease the incidence of channel interaction. At present, electrodes differ in overall length, diameter, contact design and distribution, but none of the electrodes available have a distinct variability in the amount of space between contacts across the length of the electrode. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a new electrode design featuring larger contact spacing in the apical part of deeply inserted electrodes would lead to an increase in speech perception. Eighteen postlingually deafened patients fitted with MedEl Combi 40+ or MedEl Pulsar cochlear implants using the MedEl implementation of continuous interleaved sampling participated in this study. Patients were tested in 6 conditions, in which the channel spacing and distribution of electrode contacts in each patient were artificially varied by activating or deactivating different channels. Performance was tested immediately after each change in setup with a monosyllable and sentence test (Hochmaier, Schultz and Moser). Our results showed that the condition with the highest distance between contacts in the apical part (up to 6.4 mm instead of 2.4 mm) is the most effective for the matched map condition: the results improved statistically significantly for the sentence test from 72% in the standard 12-channel condition to 83.2% and from 40.8 to 50% for the monosyllable test. Based on these findings, we present a new electrode design which can help achieve further increases in speech perception with cochlear implants.
© 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel
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