The development of auditory perception in children following cochlear implantation

  • Nikolopoulos T
  • Archbold S
  • O'Donoghue G
  • 2


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The time course for the development of auditory perception in prelingually deaf children following cochlear implantation may extend over many years, thus making long-term studies necessary to evaluate any such outcome. However, few such studies exist in the literature. We prospectively followed-up a consecutive group of 133 prelingually deaf children up to 6 years following implantation. All children were prelingually deaf with age at onset of deafness < 3 years and age at implantation < 8 years. The aetiology of deafness was meningitis for 45 children (34%), congenital deafness for 77 children (58%) and other causes for 11 children (8%). All were implanted with a Nucleus-22 multi-channel cochlear implant and followed the same rehabilitation programme. No child was lost to follow-up and there were no exclusions from the study. Prelingually deaf children showed significant improvement in the auditory perception with implant experience. 82% of children who reached the 6-year interval could understand conversation without lip-reading. The respective percentage in the 4-year interval was 70%. The long-term results of cochlear implantation reveal that the majority of prelingually deaf children, when implanted before the age of 8 years, will develop significant auditory perception.

Author-supplied keywords

  • *Cochlear Implantation
  • *Hearing
  • Auditory Perception
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deafness/*physiopathology/therapy
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Speech Perception

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  • T P Nikolopoulos

  • S M Archbold

  • G M O'Donoghue

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