Audiology and Neurotology 2021-07-28

Objective and Subjective Outcomes in Patients with Hearing Aids: A Cross-Sectional, Comparative, Associational Study

Publication date 28-07-2021

Introduction: Outcome assessment for hearing aids (HAs) is an essential part of HA fitting and validation. There is no consensus about the best or standard approach for evaluating HA outcomes. And, the relationship between objective and subjective measures is ambiguous. This study aimed to determine the outcomes after HA fitting, explore correlations between subjective benefit and acoustic gain improvement as well as objective audiologic tests, and investigate several variables that may improve patients’ perceived benefits.
Methods: Eighty adults with bilateral symmetrical hearing loss using HAs for at least 1 month were included in this study. All subjects completed the pure tone average (PTA) threshold and word recognition score (WRS) tests in unaided and aided conditions. We also administered the Chinese version of International Outcome Inventory for Hearing Aids (IOI-HA), to measure participants’ subjective benefits. Objective HA benefit (acoustic gain improvement) was defined as the difference in thresholds or scores between aided and unaided conditions indicated with ΔPTA and ΔWRS. Thus, patients’ baseline hearing levels were taken into account. Correlations were assessed among objective audiologic tests (PTA and WRS), acoustic gain improvement (ΔPTA and ΔWRS), multiple potential factors, and IOI-HA overall scores.
Results: PTA decreased significantly, but WRS did not increase when aided listening was compared to unaided listening. Negative correlations between PTAs and IOI-HA scores were significant but weak (r = −0.370 and r = −0.393, all p #x3c; 0.05). Significant weak positive correlations were found between WRSs and IOI-HA (r = 0.386 and r = 0.309, all p #x3c; 0.05). However, there was no correlation among ΔPTA, ΔWRS, and IOI-HA (r = 0.056 and r = −0.086, all p #x3e; 0.05). Moreover, 2 nonaudiological factors (age and daily use time) were significantly correlated with IOI-HA (r = −0.269 and r = 0.242, all p #x3c; 0.05).
Conclusions: Correlations among objective audiologic tests, acoustic gain, and subjective patient-reported outcomes were weak or absent. Subjective questionnaires and objective tests do not reflect the same hearing capability. Therefore, it is advisable to evaluate both objective and subjective outcomes when analyzing HA benefits on a regular basis and pay equal attention to nonaudiological and audiological factors. Audiol Neurotol

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Atraumatic Insertion of a Cochlear Implant Pre-Curved Electrode Array by a Robot-Automated Alignment with the Coiling Direction of the Scala Tympani

R Torres,B Hochet,H Daoudi,F Carré,I Mosnier,O Sterkers,E Ferrary,Y Nguyen

Publication date 20-07-2021

Introduction: Electrode array translocation is an unpredictable event with all types of arrays, even using a teleoperated robot in a clinical scenario. We aimed to compare the intracochlear trauma produced by the Hi Focus™ Mid-Scala (MS) electrode array (Advanced Bionics, Valencia, CA, USA) using a teleoperated robot, with an automated robot connected to a navigation system to align the pre-curved tip of the electrode array with the coiling direction of the scala tympani (ST).
Methods: Fifteen freshly frozen temporal bones were implanted with the MS array using the Rob Otol® (Collin, Bagneux, France). In the first group (n = 10), the robot was teleoperated to insert the electrode array into the basal turn of the ST under stereomicroscopic vision, and then the array was driven by a slow-speed hydraulic insertion technique with an estimated placement of the pre-curved electrode tip. In the second group (n = 5), 3 points were obtained from the preoperative cone-beam computed tomography: the 2 first defining the ST insertion axis of the basal turn and a third one at the center of the ST at 270°. They provided the information to the automated system (Rob Otol® connected with a navigation system) to automatically align the electrode array with the ST insertion axis and to aim the pre-curved tip toward the subsequent coiling of the ST. After this, the electrode array was manually advanced. Finally, the cochleae were obtained and fixed in a crystal resin, and the position of each electrode was determined by a micro-grinding technique.
Results: In all cases, the electrode array was fully inserted into the cochlea and the depth of insertion was similar using both techniques. With the teleoperated robotic technique, translocations of the array were observed in 7/10 insertions (70%), but neither trauma nor array translocation occurred with automated robotic insertion.
Conclusion: We have successfully tested an automated insertion system (robot + navigation) that could accurately align a pre-curved electrode array to the axis of the basal turn of the ST and its subsequent coiling, which reduced intracochlear insertion trauma and translocation. Audiol Neurotol

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Noise Exposure and Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emission Suprathreshold Amplitudes: A Genome-Wide Association Study

J Lavinsky,G Kasperbauer,RF Bento,A Mendonça,J Wang,AL Crow,H Allayee,RA Friedman

Publication date 19-07-2021

Background: Although several candidate-gene association studies have been conducted to investigate noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in humans, most are underpowered, unreplicated, and account for only a fraction of the genetic risk. Mouse genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have revolutionized the field of genetics and have led to the discovery of hundreds of genes involved in complex traits. The hybrid mouse diversity panel (HMDP) is a collection of classic inbred and recombinant inbred strains whose genomes have been either genotyped at high resolution or sequenced. To further investigate the genetics of NIHL, we report the first GWAS based on distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) measurements and the HMDP.
Methods: A total of 102 strains (n = 635) from the HMDP were evaluated based on DPOAE suprathreshold amplitudes before and after noise exposure. DPOAE amplitude variation was set at 60 and 70 dB SPL of the primary tones for each frequency separately (8, 11.3, 16, 22.6, and 32 k Hz). These values provided an indirect assessment of outer hair cell integrity. Six-week-old mice were exposed for 2 h to 10 k Hz octave-band noise at 108 dB SPL. To perform local expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) analysis, gene expression microarray profiles were generated using cochlear RNA from 64 hybrid mouse strains (n = 3 arrays per strain).
Results: Several new loci were identified and positional candidate-genes associated with NIHL were prioritized, especially after noise exposure (1 locus at baseline and 5 loci after exposure). A total of 35 candidate genes in these 6 loci were identified with at least 1 probe whose expression was regulated by a significant cis-eQTL in the cochlea. After careful analysis of the candidate genes based on cochlear gene expression, 2 candidate genes were prioritized: Eya1 (baseline) and Efr3a (post-exposure).
Discussion and Conclusion: For the first time, an association analysis with correction for population structure was used to map several loci for hearing traits in inbred strains of mice based on DPOAE suprathreshold amplitudes before and after noise exposure. Our results identified a number of novel loci and candidate genes for susceptibility to NIHL, especially the Eya1 and Efr3a genes. Our findings validate the power of the HMDP for detecting NIHL susceptibility genes. Audiol Neurotol

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Betahistine in Ménière’s Disease or Syndrome: A Systematic Review

B Van Esch,H van der Zaag-Loonen,T Bruintjes,PP van Benthem

Publication date 07-07-2021

Background: Ménière’s disease is characterized by recurrent episodes of vertigo, hearing loss, and tinnitus, often with a feeling of fullness in the ear. Although betahistine is thought to be specifically effective for Ménière’s disease, no evidence for a benefit from the use of betahistine exists, despite its widespread use. Reassessment of the effect of betahistine for Ménière’s disease is now warranted.
Search Methods: We searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Ovid Medline, Ovid Embase, CINAHL, Web of Science,, ICTRP, and additional sources for published and unpublished trials, in which betahistine was compared to placebo.
Data Collection and Analysis: Our outcomes involved vertigo, significant adverse effect (upper gastrointestinal discomfort), hearing loss, tinnitus, aural fullness, other adverse effects, and disease-specific health-related quality of life. We used GRADE to assess the quality of the evidence.
Main Results: We included 10 studies: 5 studies used a crossover design and the remaining 5 were parallel-group RCTs. One study with a low risk of bias found no significant difference between the betahistine groups and placebo with respect to vertigo after a long-term follow-up period. No significant difference in the incidence of upper gastrointestinal discomfort was found in 2 studies (low-certainty evidence). No differences in hearing loss, tinnitus, or well-being and disease-specific health-related quality of life were found (low- to very low-certainty of evidence). Data on aural fullness could not be extracted. No significant difference between the betahistine and the placebo groups (low-certainty evidence) could be demonstrated in the other adverse effect outcome with respect to dull headache. The pooled risk ratio for other adverse effect in the long term demonstrated a lower risk in favor of placebo over betahistine.
Conclusions: High-quality studies evaluating the effect of betahistine on patients with Ménière’s disease are lacking. However, one study with low risk of bias found no evidence of a difference in the effect of betahistine on the primary outcome, vertigo, in patients with Ménière’s disease when compared to placebo. The main focus of future research should be on the use of comparable outcome measures by means of patient-reported outcome measures. Audiol Neurotol

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JP Harris

Publication date 02-07-2021

Audiol Neurotol 2021;26:207–208

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Long-Term Prognosis of Tinnitus Associated with Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

T Diao,X Ma,J Li,JT Lai,L Yu,J Zhang,Y Wang,H Zheng,Y Jing,L Han

Publication date 24-06-2021

Objective: To analyze the factors affecting the long-term prognosis of tinnitus accompanied by unilateral idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL).
Methods: A total of 161 patients with sudden hearing loss (HL) accompanied by tinnitus were enrolled. All patients had two separate telephone follow-ups and were asked about changes in tinnitus. The severity of tinnitus at admission and the outcome at discharge were assessed in terms of the patients’ sex, age, level of HL, type of audiogram, etc.
Results: The prognosis of tinnitus after SSNHL had no relationship with grades of HL or hearing recovery. Initial tinnitus level was remarkably associated with tinnitus improvement at discharge and was an independent risk factor for the long-term prognosis of residual tinnitus after SSNHL (odds ratio 0.722, 95% confidence interval 0.550–0.949, p = 0.019), and the median recovery time was 23.00 ± 3.80 months.
Conclusions: Residual tinnitus after SSNHL has a tendency of self-recovery. The short-term prognosis of tinnitus may be related to psychological changes caused by hearing recovery, while the long-term prognosis of residual tinnitus after SSNHL is related only to the initial tinnitus level, with a median recovery time of approximately 2 years. Audiol Neurotol

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Influence of Intracochlear Air on Experimental Pressure Measurements

C Riemann,H Sudhoff,I Todt

Publication date 15-06-2021

Introduction: Intracochlear pressure changes have been assumed to play a central role in hearing preservation during cochlear implantation. The pressure in different settings has been evaluated (temporal bones vs. cochlea models) and was found to have advantages and disadvantages. Experimentally, problems have been discussed to influence the results substantially.
Objective: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of intracochlear air on the measurements in a cochlea model by using a fiber optic pressure sensor.
Materials and Methods: The experiments were performed in an uncurled 3D printed full cochlea model. A microfiber-optic pressure sensor was inserted, and intracochlear pressures were evaluated under 3 conditions: (1) cochlea model filled to 100% with fluid, (2) cochlea model filled with air, and (3) cochlea model filled to approximately 50% with fluid. Since the cochlea model is transparent, a direct visualization of air under the microscope was possible when performing the insertions.
Results: In the first condition, the mean intracochlear pressure at the end of the insertion was 0.044 psi (SD 0.012, 95% CI). In the second setting, the results were similar. In the last scenario, with 50% filling, the mean intracochlear pressure was statistically significantly different with a mean value of 0.074 psi (SD 0.013, 95% CI) (p #x3c; 0.0044, ANOVA). Besides this, in the last condition with 50% fluid, a plateau was formed when the fiber optic reached the air portion.
Conclusion: The results obtained in a 3D printed full cochlea model show the importance of a direct evaluation of air inside the experimental setting. The exclusion of intracochlear air should be an important factor for the choice of the model for intracochlear pressure measurement (temporal bone vs. cochlea model). Audiol Neurotol

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Long-Term Safety and Quality of Life after Vibroplasty in Sensorineural Hearing Loss: Short/Long Incus Process Coupler

SH Edlinger,M Hasenzagl,P Schoerg,S Muck,A Magele,GM Sprinzl

Publication date 27-05-2021

Objective: The study shows the long-term effectiveness, safety, and quality of life after Vibrant Soundbridge (VSB) implantation in sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) using the short process coupler (SP) or the long process coupler (LP).
Methods: This retrospective study evaluated 77 VSB cases. Follow-up (F/U) time-dependent objective measurements (audiological outcomes), subjective data collection (quality-of-life questionnaire), and safety measures are presented.
Results: Sixty-two ears were included in the analysis with up to 116 months of postsurgical F/U data (mean 32.15 ± 37.97 months LP and SP coupler). Fifty-three ears (13 bilateral cases) received the LP coupler and 9 subjects the SP coupler. The post-operative bone conduction thresholds remained stable and, in both groups, #x3c;10 dB. The benefit in word recognition scores measured at 65 dB SPL and 80 dB SPL showed no significant difference between the couplers (p = 0.559 and p = 0.088, respectively). The functional gain was not significantly different (p #x3e; 0.05) with a mean of 20.91 ± 9.77 and 17.19 ± 5.75 for LP and SP coupler, respectively. The utility score deciphered from the Assessment of Quality-of-life Questionnaire-8 dimensions revealed a mean score of 0.75 ± 0.16 which is not significantly different to the age- and sex-matched healthy control group with 0.81 ± 0.02 (p = 0.3547).
Conclusion: The Incus Vibroplasty utilizing both couplers is a safe and effective method to treat mild-to-severe SNHL. Both fixation methods of the floating mass transducer exhibit good clinical and audiological outcomes with high patient quality of life. The SP coupling method can be a good alternative when the long process is anatomically inaccessible, or the approach is limited due to anatomical reasons. Audiol Neurotol

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Effect of Video Games on the Otolithic Reflex System

CC Wang,YH Young

Publication date 26-05-2021

Background: Video gaming (VG) has since the 1980s become increasingly ubiquitous entertainment among the adolescents and young adults. Many young people expe­rienced dizzy spells, but not vertiginous episodes, after playing VG.
Objectives: This study performed ocular vestibular-evoked myogenic potential (oVEMP) and cervical VEMP (cVEMP) tests in subjects before and after engaging on VG to investigate the effect of VG on the otolithic reflex system.
Methods: Twenty subjects who frequently played VG (#x3e;3 days per week) for more than 10 years were assigned to the long-term group. Another 20 subjects with engaging on VG #x3c;3 days per week or #x3c;10 years were assigned to the short-term group. Each subject underwent baseline oVEMP and cVEMP tests first, followed by playing VG for 1 h. Then, all subjects underwent the same paradigm. The “VG-year” is defined as frequency of VG playing within 1 week (day/week) multiplied by total length of VG engagement (year).
Results: Engagement on VG rarely affected the oVEMP responses for either short- or long-term players. In contrast, the response rates of cVEMP significantly declined from pre-VG period (80%) to post-VG period (58%) in the short-term group, but not in the long-term group. The cutoff value for predicting absent cVEMP in VG engagement is 21 VG-year.
Conclusion: Short-term engagement on VG may result in temporary cVEMP loss, while permanent cVEMP loss could be identified in long-term VG players. The cutoff value for predicting absent cVEMP in VG engagement is 21 VG-year, indicating that damage to the sacculo-collic reflex system could be anticipated in a subject who has played VG at least 1 h per session, 7 days weekly for 3 years. Audiol Neurotol

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Publication date 25-05-2021

Audiol Neurotol

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