Auditory Brainstem Implants: Update 2012
Sanna et al (2012) note that the first auditory brainstem implants (ABI) were performed by House and Hitselberger in 1979. However, despite more than 30 years experience, ABI outcomes remain highly variable and somewhat unpredictable.
Of the 24 neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) patients reported by Sanna and colleagues, 19 use their ABIs daily, 4 do not use their ABIs and one patient has died. Sanna and colleagues report some of their ABI patients have achieved open-set speech discrimination and some can use the telephone.
The authors note the importance of verifying maximal electrode positioning via intraoperative-evoked auditory brainstem response and the importance of multiple post-operative fitting and programming appointments. Sanna and colleagues report post-operative office visits at 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months to maximize threshold and comfort levels, as well as to maximize pitch scaling and other audiometric measures.
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Coletti V, Shannon R, Carner M, Veronese S, Coletti L. (2009) Outcomes in Non-Tumor Adults Fitted with the Auditory Brainstem Implant - 10 years Experience. Otology & Neurotology (30)5:614–618.
O'Driscoll M. (2009) New Frontiers: Auditory Brainstem Implant Results in Adults and Children. ENTNews (18)3:84–88.
Otto SR, Shannon RV, Wilkinson EP, Hitselberger WE, McCreery DB, Moore JK, Brackmann DE. (2008) Audiologic Outcomes With the Penetrating Electrode Auditory Brainstem Implant. Otology & Neurotology 29(8).
Otto SR, Waring MD, Kuchta J. (2005) Neural Response Telemetry and Auditory/Non-Auditory Sensations in 15 Recipients of Auditory Brainstem Implants. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 16:219–227.
Sanna M, De Lella F, Guida M, Merkus P. (2012) Auditory Brainstem Implants in NF2 Patients. Results and Review of the Literature. Otology & Neurotology 33:154–165.