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Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
HEARing Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Cochlear Implant Clinic, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Publication date: 2014-09-30
Corresponding author
Michelle Moran   

Michelle Moran, Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, University of Melbourne, 550 Swanston Street, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia. Fax: +613 9347 9736. Phone: +613 9035 7996, e-mail: mmoran@unimelb.edu.au
J Hear Sci 2014;4(3):9-19
This study examined the speech perception outcomes for postlingually deafened adults using cochlear implants who preoperatively had steeply sloping hearing loss and in whom there was no attempt at electroacoustic stimulation. The aims were firstly to determine whether patients with sloping loss (SL) who received a standard-length cochlear implant electrode would show significant benefit; and secondly to compare the degree of benefit to a matched group of cochlear implant users with preoperative profound hearing loss.

Material and Methods:
A retrospective analysis of pre- and post-implant speech perception scores of 27 adults with sloping hearing loss and a matched group of 27 adults with profound hearing loss was conducted. Matching was based on age at implant and duration of loss. All were implanted with a Nucleus Freedom (CA) or a Nucleus 5 implant.

Postoperative open-set speech perception testing demonstrated significant improvement compared to pre-implant for both groups. Speech perception outcomes were better in the SL group; however, there was no significant difference between the groups in the degree of improvement pre- to post-operatively under either the condition of implant alone or binaurally.

This study demonstrates that postlingually deafened adults with sloping hearing loss have the potential to gain significant benefit from cochlear implants, and achieve equivalent improvement in speech perception to implant recipients with profound loss. The results achieved in this group, without any attempt at hearing preservation, support the use of newer standard-length electrodes for both hearing preservation and optimal electric stimulation in patients with sloping hearing loss.

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