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Factors Influencing Pediatric Cochlear Implant Outcomes

Carolina Sibling Study

Selleck, Anne Morgan; Park, Lisa R.; Brown, Kevin D.

doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000002342

Objective: To determine the correlation between speech perception performance between pediatric sibling pairs with severe to profound sensory hearing loss receiving cochlear implants, and in cases of discordance in performance, determine which variables negatively impacted performance.

Study Design: Retrospective chart review.

Setting: Tertiary academic referral center.

Subjects: Eighty-nine pediatric subjects, 43 sibling groups, under the age of 18 with severe to profound sensory hearing loss who received a cochlear implant with a sibling who also received a cochlear implant.

Intervention: Cochlear implantation.

Main Outcome Measures: Speech perception scores, consonant-nucleus- consonant score.

Results: A statistically significant correlation was found between speech perception performance of pediatric siblings. Depth of insertion is positively correlated with better speech perception in siblings with discordant results. There was no significant relationship with either electrode type, unilateral/bilateral status, or age of implantation.

Conclusion: Pediatric siblings have a high correlation in speech perception outcomes following cochlear implantation, suggesting family environment plays a strong role. In circumstances in which outcomes between siblings are substantially different, greater depth of implant insertion is correlated with better consonant-nucleus- consonant word scores.

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Kevin D. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., 170 Manning Drive, CB #7070, Physicians Office Building, Room G190A, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7070; E-mail:

Dr. K.D.B. had a temporary assignment on the Med-El Surgical Advisory Board.

The authors disclose no conflicts of interest.

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