Hearing loss remains a significant morbidity for patients with vestibular schwannomas (VS). A growing number of reports suggest audibility with cochlear implantation following VS resection; however, there is little consensus on preferred timing and cochlear implant (CI) performance.
A systematic literature search of the Ovid Medline, Embase, Scopus, and clinicaltrails.gov databases was performed on 9/7/2018. PRISMA reporting guidelines were followed.
Included studies reported CI outcomes in an ear that underwent a VS resection. Untreated VSs, radiated VSs, and CIs in the contralateral ear were excluded.
Primary outcomes were daily CI use and attainment of open-set speech. Baseline tumor and patient characteristics were recorded. Subjects were divided into two groups: simultaneous CI placement with VS resection (Group 1) versus delayed CI placement after VS resection (Group 2).
Twenty-nine articles with 93 patients met inclusion criteria. Most studies were poor quality due to their small, retrospective design. Group 1 had 46 patients, of whom 80.4% used their CI on a daily basis and 50.0% achieved open-set speech. Group 2 had 47 patients, of whom 87.2% used their CI on a daily basis and 59.6% achieved open-set speech. Group 2 had more NF2 patients and larger tumors. CI timing did not significantly impact outcomes.
Audibility with CI after VS resection is feasible. Timing of CI placement (simultaneous versus delayed) did not significantly affect performance. Overall, 83.9% used their CI on a daily basis and 54.8% achieved open-set speech.