Assessment of intracochlear trauma caused by the insertion of a new straight research array.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Cochlear Implants Int, 2012, 13 (3), pp. 156 - 162
Issue Date:
2012-08
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OBJECTIVE: To assess the degree of intracochlear trauma using the Cochlear™ Straight Research Array (SRA). This electrode has recently been released by Cochlear™ on the CI422 implant. BACKGROUND: Electroacoustic stimulation (EAS) enables recipients to benefit from cochlear implantation while retaining their natural low-frequency hearing. A disadvantage of short EAS electrodes is that short electrodes provide limited low-frequency stimulation. Thus, loss of the residual hearing may require reimplantation with a longer electrode. In order to overcome this problem, the slim diameter SRA with increased length (20-25 mm) has been designed to provide a deeper, yet non-traumatic insertion. METHODS: Two insertion studies into temporal bones were undertaken. The first involved dissection of the cochlea to gain a view into the scala vestibuli and insertion of the SRA and control electrodes with a microactuator for a surgeon-independent yet controlled insertion. High-speed photography was used to record data. The second study involved a high-resolution X-ray microcomputed tomography (microCT) study to assess electrode placement and tissue preservation in surgeon-implanted bones. RESULTS: The SRA had a smooth insertion trajectory. The average angular insertion depth was 383° when inserted until resistance was encountered, and 355° if inserted to a predetermined mark for EAS use. In addition, microCT data showed that this caused no significant trauma or distortion of the basilar membrane up to 20 mms depth. CONCLUSION: Temporal bone studies show that the SRA appears to cause no intracochlear trauma if used as an EAS electrode up to 20 mm depth of insertion.
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