, Volume 270, Issue 5, pp 1757-1761
Date: 29 Jan 2013

Cochlear implantation in a child with posttraumatic single-sided deafness

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Cochlear implantation has become a standard therapy for children with bilateral profound hearing loss, resulting in substantial and sustainable benefits for the development of expressive and receptive and expressive language skills and cognition. During the last few years, audiologic and otologic criteria for cochlear implantation have been expanded. Recently, patients with profound single-sided deafness with or without tinnitus have received cochlear implants despite normal to near-normal hearing on the contralateral side. This indication, however, has thus far been restricted to adult patients. Although it is known that unilateral hearing has an impact on social-emotional development in children, otologic surgeons have been reluctant to treat children with single-sided deafness with a cochlear implant. We report here on a case of successful cochlear implantation in an 8-year-old boy with acute single-sided deafness due to a lateral skull-base fracture, after an MRI showed signs of imminent fibrosis of the inner ear with possible prevention of cochlear implantation at a later stage. There was normal hearing in the contralateral ear. The child showed rapid development of speech discrimination in the implanted ear, improvements in sound localization and speech perception in noise, and a high degree of patient satisfaction. This experience may encourage using this therapeutic approach in children with chronic profound single-sided deafness.