Evaluating hearing performance with cochlear implants within the same patient using daily randomization and imaging-based fitting - The ELEPHANT study

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Abstract

BackgroundProspective research in the field of cochlear implants is hampered by methodological issues and small sample sizes. The ELEPHANT study presents an alternative clinical trial design with a daily randomized approach evaluating individualized tonotopical fitting of a cochlear implant (CI).MethodsA single-blinded, daily-randomized clinical trial will be implemented to evaluate a new imaging-based CI mapping strategy. A minimum of 20 participants will be included from the start of the rehabilitation process with a 1-year follow-up period. Based on a post-operative cone beam CT scan (CBCT), mapping of electrical input will be aligned to natural place-pitch arrangement in the individual cochlea. The CI's frequency allocation table will be adjusted to match the electrical stimulation of frequencies as closely as possible to corresponding acoustic locations in the cochlea. A randomization scheme will be implemented whereby the participant, blinded to the intervention allocation, crosses over between the experimental and standard fitting program on a daily basis, and thus effectively acts as his own control, followed by a period of free choice between both maps to incorporate patient preference. With this new approach the occurrence of a first-order carryover effect and a limited sample size is addressed.DiscussionThe experimental fitting strategy is thought to give rise to a steeper learning curve, result in better performance in challenging listening situations, improve sound quality, better complement residual acoustic hearing in the contralateral ear and be preferred by recipients of a CI. Concurrently, the suitability of the novel trial design will be considered in investigating these hypotheses.Trial registrationClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03892941. Registered 27 March 2019.

Original languageEnglish
Article number564
Number of pages14
JournalTrials
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Cochlear implant
  • Daily randomization
  • Imaging based fitting
  • Tonotopy
  • Bimodal hearing
  • SPEECH RECOGNITION
  • CONTROLLED-TRIALS
  • AUDITORY-CORTEX
  • INSERTION DEPTH
  • MID-SCALA
  • PERCEPTION
  • LOUDNESS
  • ADULTS
  • NOISE
  • SOUND

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