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ObjectivesThis study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness, according to the hearing threshold and language performance, of cochlear implants through a period of 10 or more years of follow-up.MethodsA retrospective chart review was conducted. 132 patients were selected from the children's population that underwent cochlear implantation at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra, from 1992 to 2001, with a minimum follow-up period of 10 years.A comparison of the pure-tone and speech audiometric thresholds between two periods (T0 and T1) was performed. T0 refers to the initial evaluation, immediately after the rehabilitation programme, within the first year after cochlear implantation. T1 refers to the most recent annual assessment, carried out in 2010 and 2011. Speech understanding was also evaluated through word and sentence recognition tests.ResultsNo statistically significant differences were found between early and late assessments, in paediatric cochlear implants users, after a 10 years period of cochlear implantation. Both speech and pure-tone audiometry seem to stabilize except for 2000Â Hz where the results were even better after 10 years. Factors such as age at time of implantation, duration of deafness, aetiology and exchange of the speech processor do not seem to have a role in auditory performance after a long rehabilitation period. In tests of verbal discrimination rates of words and phrases recognition were of 84.6% and 65.1%, respectively.ConclusionsCochlear implant is an effective treatment for severe to profound hearing loss in children, contributing to a hearing performance and an appropriate language acquisition, currently comparable to normal hearing children. These benefits appear to keep stable over the years. No deterioration was identified.
Journal: International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology - Volume 77, Issue 4, April 2013, Pages 462-468