Effect of age at cochlear implantation on auditory and speech development of children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder

Yuying Liu, Ruijuan Dong, Yuling Li, Tianqiu Xu, Yongxin Li, Xueqing Chen, Shusheng Gong
Auris, Nasus, Larynx 2014, 41 (6): 502-6

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the auditory and speech abilities in children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) after cochlear implantation (CI) and determine the role of age at implantation.

METHODS: Ten children participated in this retrospective case series study. All children had evidence of ANSD. All subjects had no cochlear nerve deficiency on magnetic resonance imaging and had used the cochlear implants for a period of 12-84 months. We divided our children into two groups: children who underwent implantation before 24 months of age and children who underwent implantation after 24 months of age. Their auditory and speech abilities were evaluated using the following: behavioral audiometry, the Categories of Auditory Performance (CAP), the Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale (MAIS), the Infant-Toddler Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale (IT-MAIS), the Standard-Chinese version of the Monosyllabic Lexical Neighborhood Test (LNT), the Multisyllabic Lexical Neighborhood Test (MLNT), the Speech Intelligibility Rating (SIR) and the Meaningful Use of Speech Scale (MUSS).

RESULTS: All children showed progress in their auditory and language abilities. The 4-frequency average hearing level (HL) (500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz and 4000Hz) of aided hearing thresholds ranged from 17.5 to 57.5dB HL. All children developed time-related auditory perception and speech skills. Scores of children with ANSD who received cochlear implants before 24 months tended to be better than those of children who received cochlear implants after 24 months. Seven children completed the Mandarin Lexical Neighborhood Test. Approximately half of the children showed improved open-set speech recognition.

CONCLUSION: Cochlear implantation is helpful for children with ANSD and may be a good optional treatment for many ANSD children. In addition, children with ANSD fitted with cochlear implants before 24 months tended to acquire auditory and speech skills better than children fitted with cochlear implants after 24 months.

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