Currently, the most commonly used electrophysiological tests for cochlear implant evaluation are Averaged Electrical Voltages (AEV), Electrical Advisory Brainstem Responses (EABR) and Neural Response Telemetry (NRT). The present paper focuses on the study of acoustic auditory cortical responses, or slow vertex responses, which are not widely used due to the difficulty in recording, especially in young children. Aims of this study were validation of slow vertex responses and their possible applications in monitoring postimplant results, particularly restoration of hearing and auditory maturation. In practice, the use of tone-bursts, also through hearing aids or cochlear implants, as in slow vertex responses, allows many more frequencies to be investigated and louder intensities to be reached than with other tests based on a click as stimulus. Study design focused on latencies of N1 and P2 slow vertex response peaks in cochlear implants. The study population comprised 45 implant recipients (aged 2 to 70 years), divided into 5 different homogeneous groups according to chronological age, age at onset of deafness, and age at implantation. For each subject, slow vertex responses and free-field auditory responses (PTAS) were recorded for tone-bursts at 500 and 2000 Hz before cochlear implant surgery (using hearing aid amplification) and during scheduled sessions at 3rd and 12th month after implant activation. Results showed that N1 and P2 latencies decreased in all groups starting from 3rd through 12th month after activation. Subjects implanted before school age or at least before age 8 yrs showed the widest latency changes. All subjects showed a reduction in the gap between subjective thresholds (obtained with free field auditory responses) and objective thresholds (obtained with slow vertex responses), obtained in presurgery stage and after cochlear implant. In conclusion, a natural evolution of neurophysiological cortical activities of the auditory pathway, over time, was found especially in young children with prelingual deafness and implanted in preschool age. Cochlear implantation appears to provide hearing restoration, demonstrated by the sharp reduction of the gap between subjective free field auditory responses and slow vertex responses threshold obtained with hearing aids vs. cochlear implant.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2006|
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