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Cochlear Implantation Improves Hearing in Ménière's Disease

No difference seen in MD Functional Level Scale vestibular scores before and after implant

Cochlear Implantation Improves Hearing in Ménière's Disease

THURSDAY, May 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with Ménière's disease (MD), cochlear implantation (CI) is associated with significant improvement in hearing performance, according to a study published online May 1 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Tim A. Fife, M.D., from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues conducted a retrospective review involving 10 patients who met the diagnostic criteria for definite MD and underwent 11 CIs from 2000 to 2012 (mean age at first implantation, 64 years). Patients answered questions regarding their current hearing ability, perception of symptoms, and functional status related to their MD before and after CI.

The researchers found that the mean sentence testing scores in quiet improved significantly, from 22.8 percent before CI to 77.0 percent after CI at the most recent follow-up (P < 0.001). The mean MD Functional Level Scale vestibular scores were similar pre- and post-CI (3.9 and 3.4, respectively; P = 0.52).

"Patients with MD who undergo CI are capable of achieving substantial receptive communication improvement comparable to the gains experienced by patients without MD," the authors write. "Implantation seems to neither adversely alter the natural history of vestibular function nor notable exacerbate auditory symptoms."

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