Vestibular sensory functional status of cochlear implanted ears versus non-implanted ears in bilateral profound deaf adults

Vol. 59 No. 1, 2018


Romica Sebastian Cozma, Lucia Corina Dima-Cozma, Luminita Mihaela Radulescu, Maria Cristina Hera, Cristian Martu, Raluca Olariu, Bogdan Mihail Cobzeanu, Oana Roxana Bitere, Mihail Dan Cobzeanu

Patients with hearing loss who underwent cochlear implantation can present symptomatic or asymptomatic vestibular damages earlier or later after the surgery. The vestibular permanent lesions could be acute, produced by surgical trauma or could be progressive due to local morphological changes made by the presence of the portelectrode in the inner ear (fibrosis related, ossification, basilar membrane distortion, endolymphatic hydrops). Besides histopathological findings in inner ear of cochlear implanted patients, the vestibular permanent damages could be found by assessment of clinical vestibular status. This study reports the sensorial vestibular functional findings for adults in cochlear implanted ears related to the electrode insertion type (cochleostomy or round window approach) and comparing to non-implanted deaf ears. A total of 20 adult patients with 32 cochlear implanted ears (12 patients with binaural cochlear implant and eight with monoaural) were selected for postoperatory vestibular examination by cervical and ocular vestibular myogenic potentials and vestibular caloric tests. The same tests were made for a control group of 22 non-implanted deaf ears. Functional testing results were reported related to the electrode insertion approach. For the cochleostomy group, we found different deficits: in 40% for saccular function, 44% for utricular function, and 12% horizontal canal dysfunction. In round window group, the deficit was present in 14.29% for saccular function, 28.57% for utricular function, and 28.58% for horizontal canal. In 46.88% of implanted ears, the vestibular function was completely preserved on all tested sensors. In conclusion, the vestibular functional status after inner ear surgery presents sensorial damages in 53.12% ears compare with the vestibular dysfunction existing in 50% of deaf non-operated ears. Round window insertion allows for better conservation of the vestibular function.

Corresponding author: Maria Cristina Hera, MD, PhD Student; e-mail:; Luminita Mihaela Radulescu, Associate Professor, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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