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Waardenburg Syndrome: An Unusual Indication of Cochlear Implantation Experienced in 11 Patients.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to present the surgical findings of children with Waardenburg syndrome (WS) and investigate speech development after cochlear implantation in this unique group of patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective chart review of the patients diagnosed with WS and implanted between 1998 and 2015 was performed. Categories of auditory performance (CAP) test were used to assess the auditory skills of these patients. CAP is a nonlinear hierarchical scale used to rate a child's developing auditory abilities. Preoperative test results and intraoperative surgical findings of these patients have been presented.

RESULTS: In total, 1835 cases were implanted a tour institution, and 1210 of these were children. Among these implantees, 11 were diagnosed with WS (0.59% of all implantees). Four of the 11 patients showed incomplete partition type 2bony labyrinth abnormality (Mondini deformity) and all patients showed intraoperative gusher during cochleostomy, which was subsided through routine interventions. No other complications occurred during surgery, and all patients showed satisfactory CAP results in the late postoperative period.

CONCLUSION: Our experiences with cochlear implantation in patients with WS showed that the procedure is safe and effective in this group of patients. Surgeons should be aware of possible labyrinth malformations and intraoperative problems such as gusher in these patients. In long term, auditory performances may exhibit satisfactory results with optimal postoperative educational and supportive measures.

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