Hybrid or short electrodes have increasingly been used in the literature in order to combine electrical with hearing-aid stimulation. However, hearing preservation of the residual low-frequencies are of utmost importance in this attempt. The present study compared hearing preservation and performance of the device following the loss of residual hearing using a short electrode array and an even shorter hybrid implant. It was very interesting to note that one year following implantation, 30% of patients with the Hybrid-L and 58% of patients with the CI422 lost residual acoustic hearing resulting in a profound hearing loss in the implanted ear. In contrast, mean CNC words in the implanted ear were 72% in the CI422 electrode group and 15% in the Hybrid-L electrode group at one year and the difference was statistically significant. The authors concluded that although shorter electrodes may have better rates of hearing preservation, the deterioration of speech understanding following the loss of residual hearing is greater in patients implanted with these electrodes. The whole situation is rather alarming, especially if we take into account the related cost-effectiveness and the fact that this study had only one year follow-up.

Effects of loss of residual hearing on speech performance with the CI422 and the Hybrid-L electrode.
Friedmann DR, Peng R, Fang Y, et al.
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Thomas Nikolopoulos

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Athens, Greece.

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