Introduction: The use of the bilateral cochlear implants can promote the symmetrical development of the central auditory pathways, thus benefiting the development of auditory abilities and improving sound localization and the ability of auditory speech perception in situations of competitive noise. Objective: To evaluate the ability of speech perception in children and adolescents using sequential bilateral cochlear implants, considering the association of these variables: age at surgery, time of device use and interval between surgeries. Methods: 14 individuals between 10 and 16 years of age, who demonstrated surgical indication for the use of sequential bilateral cochlear implants as intervention in the auditory habilitation process, were assessed. The speech perception ability was assessed through sentence lists constructed in the Portuguese language, presented in two situations: in silence, with fixed intensity of 60 dB SPL, and in competitive noise, with a signal-to-noise ratio of +15 dB. The evaluation was performed under the following conditions: unilateral with the first activated cochlear implant, unilateral with the second activated cochlear implant and bilateral with both devices activated. Results: The results of the speech perception tests showed better performance in both silence and in noise for the bilateral cochlear implant condition when compared to the 1st cochlear implant and the 2nd cochlear implant alone. A worse result of speech perception was found using the 2nd cochlear implant alone. No statistically significant correlation was found between age at the surgical procedure, interval between surgeries and the time of use of the 2nd cochlear implant, and the auditory speech perception performance for all assessed conditions. The use of a hearing aid prior to the 2nd cochlear implant resulted in benefits for auditory speech perception with the 2nd cochlear implant, both in silence and in noise. Conclusion: The bilateral cochlear implant provided better speech perception in silence and in noise situations when compared to the unilateral cochlear implant, regardless of the interval between surgeries, age at the surgical procedure and the time of use of the 2nd cochlear implant. Speech perception with the 1st cochlear implant was significantly better than with the 2nd cochlear implant, both in silence and in noise. The use of the hearing aid prior to the 2nd cochlear implant influenced speech perception performance with the 2nd cochlear implant, both in silence and in noise.
Almeida, G. F. L., Martins, M. F., Costa, L. B. A. da, Costa, O. A. da, & Martinho de Carvalho, A. C. (2018). Sequential bilateral cochlear implant: results in children and adolescents. Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology. Elsevier Editora Ltda. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjorl.2018.07.008