CASE STUDY
AUDITORY BRAINSTEM IMPLANTATION AS AN OPTION TO IMPROVE HEARING AND REDUCE TINNITUS: A RETROSPECTIVE STUDY OF FOUR CASES
Wojciech Pinkas 1, D-F
,  
Joanna J. Rajchel 2, B-C,E
,  
Beata Dziendziel 2, A-B,E
,  
Artur Lorens 2, C-E
,  
Piotr H. Skarzynski 2, 3, 4, D-E,G  
,  
 
 
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1
Local Student’s Scientific Society at the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing and Medical University of Warsaw, Kajetany, Poland
2
Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, World Hearing Center, Kajetany, Poland
3
Department of Heart Failure and Cardiac Rehabilitation, Second Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
4
Institute of Sensory Organs, Kajetany, Poland
A - Research concept and design; B - Collection and/or assembly of data; C - Data analysis and interpretation; D - Writing the article; E - Critical revision of the article; F - Final approval of article;
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Piotr H. Skarzynski   

Piotr H. Skarzynski, Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, World Hearing Center, 05-830 Kajetany, 17 Mokra St., Poland; email: p.skarzynski@inz.waw.pl, tel. +48 22 356 0383
Publication date: 2020-04-08
 
J Hear Sci 2019;9(4):37–45
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Background:
Auditory brainstem implantation (ABI) is a modern method of treating hearing impairment, directed especially to patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). One of the co-occurring symptoms in these patients is tinnitus; however, little is known about its prevalence and severity. This study evaluated the self-reported hearing ability, hearing-related quality of life, and tinnitus severity in 4 adult ABI users.

Material and Methods:
The study was a retrospective design. A series of 6 patients who underwent ABI in a single tertiary referral center were asked to fill in two sets of questionnaires referring to their pre- and postoperative experiences. The Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit (APHAB) was used to evaluate self-perceived hearing ability and Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire (NCIQ) to assess

Results:
Of the 6 patients who initially agreed to participate, 4 returned questionnaires. Based on the self-reported results, it was found that each patient noticed an improvement in hearing ability (mean improvement in APHAB score of M = 25; SD = 27), which was greatest in background noise conditions. A considerable improvement was also noted in the patients’ hearing-related quality of life (mean improvement in NCIQ score of M = 38; SD = 13), which was most pronounced for basic and advanced sound perception. Tinnitus disappeared completely in two patients and was reduced in one patient (mean improvement in THI score for these patients of M = 25; SD = 21). An increase in tinnitus severity from 26 to 84 points in THI was observed in the remaining patient, who had the greatest intensity of NF2 symptoms in the postoperative period and reported the smallest benefits with ABI.

Conclusions:
Brainstem implantation has the potential to improve self-reported hearing ability, hearing-related quality of life, and reduce tinnitus in NF2 patients. However, more prospective studies are needed to confirm and further explore this potential.

 
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