Impact of cochlear implantation on the function of the three semicircular canals

Joost Stultiens, Hieke W Kieft, Emmanuel A. M. Mylanus, Ronald J. E. Pennings, Lotte Terwoert, Andy J. Beynon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective To assess the effect of cochlear implantation on the function of the semicircular canals (SCC) and on experienced vestibular symptoms. Second, to determine the relation between vestibular test results. Design Retrospective cohort study assessing absolute and categorised results of caloric irrigation test, video Head Impulse Test (vHIT) and Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) before and after cochlear implantation. Study sample:192 patients, aged >= 7 years old, without preoperative areflexia. Results Mean maximum slow phase velocity decreased with 3.1 degrees/s and 4.7 degrees/s for warm and cold caloric irrigation respectively. About 37.4% of the patients deteriorated one or more categories on caloric testing. Complete caloric postoperative areflexia was found in 6.2%. Mean vHIT gain decreased with 0.06, 0.04 and 0.05 for anterior, lateral and posterior SCC, respectively. Seven patients (7.7%) acquired an abnormal gain value for the anterior SCC. Only mean score on DHI's physical subdomain rose significantly (1.4 points). Overall, 9.0% of the patients deteriorated one or two categories on DHI. Only few weak correlations were found between caloric test, vHIT and DHI shifts. Conclusions Although mean objective and subjective-physical vestibular deteriorations were significant, its clinical impact seems limited. However, 9% of patients experience vestibular deterioration, thus, advocate assessment. Vestibular test results show no or merely weak mutual correlations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-849
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cochlear implantation
  • Dizziness Handicap Inventory
  • Vestibular function tests
  • Video Head Impulse Test
  • caloric test
  • vestibulo-ocular reflex
  • vestibulo-ocular-reflex
  • video Head Impulse Test
  • vestibular function tests

Cite this