|Ocular Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials: Where Are We Now?|
Objective: Over the last decade, ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (oVEMPs) have evolved as a new clinical test for dynamic otolith (predominantly utricular) function. The aim of this review is to give an update on the neurophysiological foundations of oVEMPs and their implications for recording and interpreting oVEMP responses in clinical practice. Conclusion: Different lines of anatomical, neurophysiological, and clinical evidence support the notion that oVEMPs measure predominantly contralateral utricular function, while cervical cVEMPs are an indicator of ipsilateral saccular function. Bone-conducted vibration (BCV) in the midline of the forehead at the hairline (Fz) or unilateral air-conducted sound (ACS) are commonly used as stimuli for oVEMPs. It is recommended to apply short stimuli with short rise times for obtaining optimal oVEMP responses. Finally, this review summarizes the clinical application and interpretation of oVEMPs, particularly for vestibular neuritis, Ménière's disease, superior canal dehiscence and "challenging" patients.
|The Role of Auditory Evoked Potentials in the Context of Cochlear Implant Provision|
Auditory evoked potentials (AEP) are highly demanded during the whole process of equipping patients with cochlear implants (CI). They play an essential role in preoperative diagnostics, intraoperative testing, and postoperative monitoring of auditory performance and success. The versatility of AEP's is essentially enhanced by their property to be evokable by acoustic as well as electric stimuli. Thus, the electric responses of the auditory system following acoustic stimulation and recorded by the conventional surface technique as well as by transtympanic derivation from the promontory (Electrocochleography [ECochG]) are used for the quantitative determination of hearing loss and, additionally, electrically evoked compound actions potentials (ECAP) can be recorded with the intracochlear electrodes of the implant just adjacent to the stimulation electrode to check the functional integrity of the device and its coupling to the auditory system. The profile of ECAP thresholds is used as basis for speech processor fitting, the spread of excitation (SOE) allows the identification of electrode mislocations such as array foldover, and recovery functions may serve to optimize stimulus pulse rate. These techniques as well as those relying on scalp surface activity originating in the brainstem or the auditory cortex accompany the CI recipient during its whole life span and they offer valuable insights into functioning and possible adverse effects of the CI for clinical and scientific purposes.
|The Effect of Peripheral Vestibular Recovery on Improvements in Vestibulo-ocular Reflexes and Balance Control After Acute Unilateral Peripheral Vestibular Loss|
Background: Patients with an acute unilateral peripheral vestibular deficit (aUPVD), presumed to be caused by vestibular neuritis, show asymmetrical vestibular ocular reflexes (VORs) that improve over time. Questions arise regarding how much of the VOR improvement is due to peripheral recovery or central compensation, and whether differences in peripheral recovery influence balance control outcomes. Methods: Thirty patients were examined at aUPVD onset and 3, 6, and 13 weeks later with four different VOR tests: caloric tests; rotating (ROT) chair tests performed in yaw with angular accelerations of 5 and 20 degrees/s2; and video head impulse tests (vHIT) in the yaw plane. ROT and vHIT responses and balance control of 11 patients who had a caloric canal paresis (CP) more than 90% at aUPVD onset and no CP recovery (no-CPR) at 13 weeks in caloric tests were compared with those of 19 patients with CP recovery (CPR) to less than 30%, on average. Balance control was measured with a gyroscope system (SwayStar) recording trunk sway during stance and gait tasks. Results: ROT and vHIT asymmetries of no-CPR and CPR patients reduced over time. The reduction was less at 13 weeks (36.2% vs. 83.5% on average) for the no-CPR patients. The no-CPR group asymmetries at 13 weeks were greater than those of CPR patients who had normal asymmetries. The greater asymmetries were caused by weaker deficit side responses which remained deficient in no-CPR patients at 13 weeks. Contra-deficit side vHIT and ROT responses remained normal. For all balance tests, sway was slightly greater for no-CPR compared with CPR patients at aUPVD onset and 3 weeks later. At 13 weeks, only sway during walking eyes closed was greater for the no-CPR group. A combination of 5 degrees/s2 ROT and balance tests could predict at onset (90% accuracy) which patients would have no-CPR at 13 weeks. Conclusions: These results indicate that for ROT and vHIT tests, central compensation is observed in CPR and no-CPR patients. It acts primarily by increasing deficit side responses. Central compensation provides approximately 60% of the VOR improvement for CPR patients. The rest of the improvement is due to peripheral recovery which appears necessary to reduce VOR asymmetry to normal at 13 weeks on average. Balance control improvement is more rapid than that of the VOR and marginally affected by the lack of peripheral recovery. Both VOR and balance control measures at onset provide indicators of future peripheral recovery. For these reasons VOR and balance control needs to be tested at aUPVD onset and at 13 weeks.
|Menière and Friends: Imaging and Classification of Hydropic Ear Disease|
Background: Over 75 years ago, endolymphatic hydrops was discovered as the pathologic correlate of Menière's disease. However, this pathologic finding could be ascertained only in postmortem histologic studies. Due to this diagnostic dilemma and the variable manifestation of the various audiovestibular symptoms, diagnostic classification systems based on clinical findings have been used hitherto. Methods: A review of the literature of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of hydropic ear disease. Results: Recent developments of high resolution MR imaging of the inner ear have now enabled us to visualize in vivo endolymphatic hydrops in patients with suspected Menière's disease. The existing knowledge from temporal bone histologic studies and from the emerging evidence on imaging based evaluation of patients with suspected Menière's disease indicate that endolymphatic hydrops not only is responsible for the full-blown clinical triad of simultaneous attacks of auditory and vestibular dysfunction, but also for other clinical presentations such as "vestibular" and "cochlear Menière's disease." Conclusion: As a consequence, we propose the term "Hydropic Ear Disease" as a new terminology which is based on symptomatic and imaging characteristics of these clinical entities to clarify and simplify their diagnostic classification.
|Cochlear Pericytes Are Capable of Reversibly Decreasing Capillary Diameter In Vivo After Tumor Necrosis Factor Exposure|
Objective: The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and its neutralization with etanercept on the capability of cochlear pericytes to alter capillary diameter in the stria vascularis. Methods: Twelve Dunkin–Hartley guinea pigs were randomly assigned to one of three groups. Each group was treated either with placebo and then placebo, TNF and then placebo, or TNF and then etanercept. Cochlear pericytes were visualized using diaminofluorescein-2-diacetate and intravasal blood flow by fluorescein-dextrane. Vessel diameter at sites of pericyte somas and downstream controls were quantified by specialized software. Values were obtained before treatment, after first treatment with tumor necrosis factor or placebo and after second treatment with etanercept or placebo. Results: Overall, 199 pericytes in 12 animals were visualized. After initial treatment with TNF, a significant decrease in vessel diameter at sites of pericyte somas (3.6 ±4.3%, n = 141) compared with placebo and downstream controls was observed. After initial treatment with TNF, the application of etanercept caused a significant increase (3.3 ±5.5%, n = 59) in vessel diameter at the sites of pericyte somata compared with placebo and downstream controls. Conclusion: We have been able to show that cochlear pericytes are capable of reducing capillary diameter after exposition to TNF. Moreover, the reduction in capillary diameter observed after the application of TNF is revertible after neutralization of tumor necrosis factor by the application of etanercept. It seems that contraction of cochlear pericytes contributes to the regulation of cochlear blood flow.
|Effectiveness of Directional Microphones in Bilateral/Bimodal Cochlear Implant Users—Impact of Spatial and Temporal Noise Characteristics|
Objective: To measure speech reception thresholds (SRTs) in co-located (S0N0) and diffuse noise conditions (multi-source noise field, MSNF) and to assess the impact of beamforming algorithms in MSNF in cochlear implant (CI) users. Study Design: Non-randomized, open, prospective study. Setting: Tertiary referral cochlear implantation center. Patients: Participants included 14 CI users (7 bimodal, 7 bilateral) and 14 normal hearing young adults. Interventions: Cochlear implantation. Main Outcome Measures: SRTs were assessed by means of a German matrix sentence test in either continuous or modulated noise. Loudspeakers were configured in two different conditions: S0N0 and MSNF (speech source in front, four speakers distributed at ±28.6 and ±151.4 degrees). In MSNF, the CI speech processor microphone was set in different directional sensitivity settings: standard (sub-cardioid), fixed (super-cardioid), and adaptive. Results: In continuous noise, SRTs of both CI groups were comparable. In modulated noise, bimodal CI users showed lower SRTs than bilateral CI group, but significant benefit from glimpsing was only demonstrated in normal hearing participants. All subject groups showed significant spatial release from masking (i.e., SRT improvement in MSNF compared with S0N0 condition) in continuous noise. A tendency of improved SRT (1 dB bimodal, 2 dB bilateral) with fixed and adaptive directional sensitivity was found which could not be statistically confirmed due to large between-subject variations. Conclusions: The absence of the glimpsing effect in CI users was reaffirmed in the present study. Although very effective in single noise source conditions, the beneficial impact of beamforming algorithms in multiple noise source conditions is poor.
|Evaluation of Cochlear Implant Receiver Position and Its Temporal Changes|
Hypothesis: It was the aim of this study to establish normative data regarding intended changes in cochlear implants (CI) receiver positioning by one surgeon over time. Background: With the increasing number of CI patients, the probability of needing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) increases. The accessibility of cerebral structures is limited by MRI artifacts caused by CI. New studies show a dependence of the visibility of intracranial structures by the MRI sequences and the position of the CI receiver itself. Methods: Retrospective and interindividual investigation of topograms with regard to the nasion–external auditory canal–internal magnet angle and the distance between the internal magnet and the external auditory canal. We evaluated scans of 150 CI recipients implanted from 2008 until 2015. Results: The most common implant position in the years 2008 to 2015 was a nasion–external auditory canal–internal magnet angle between 121 and 140 degrees (mean, 127 degrees) and an internal magnet–external auditory canal distance between 61 and 80 mm (mean, 70 mm). Over time the nasion–external auditory canal–internal magnet angle increased and the internal magnet–external auditory canal distance decreased, both to a statistically significant degree. A difference between the manufacturers was not observed. Conclusion: The CI receiver position is important for an artifact-free examination of the internal auditory canal and the cochlea. The realization of the position over a time course supports awareness of artifact-related visibility limitations.
|Single-Sided Deafness: Impact of Cochlear Implantation on Speech Perception in Complex Noise and on Auditory Localization Accuracy|
Objective: To assess auditory localization accuracy and speech reception threshold (SRT) in complex noise conditions in adult patients with acquired single-sided deafness, after intervention with a cochlear implant (CI) in the deaf ear. Study Design: Nonrandomized, open, prospective patient series. Setting: Tertiary referral university hospital. Patients: Eleven patients with late-onset single-sided deafness (SSD) and normal hearing in the unaffected ear, who received a CI. All patients were experienced CI users. Intervention: Unilateral cochlear implantation. Main Outcome Measures: Speech perception was tested in a complex multitalker equivalent noise field consisting of multiple sound sources. Speech reception thresholds in noise were determined in aided (with CI) and unaided conditions. Localization accuracy was assessed in complete darkness. Acoustic stimuli were radiated by multiple loudspeakers distributed in the frontal horizontal plane between −60 and +60 degrees. Results: In the aided condition, results show slightly improved speech reception scores compared with the unaided condition in most of the patients. For 8 of the 11 subjects, SRT was improved between 0.37 and 1.70 dB. Three of the 11 subjects showed deteriorations between 1.22 and 3.24 dB SRT. Median localization error decreased significantly by 12.9 degrees compared with the unaided condition. Conclusion: CI in single-sided deafness is an effective treatment to improve the auditory localization accuracy. Speech reception in complex noise conditions is improved to a lesser extent in 73% of the participating CI SSD patients. However, the absence of true binaural interaction effects (summation, squelch) impedes further improvements. The development of speech processing strategies that respect binaural interaction seems to be mandatory to advance speech perception in demanding listening situations in SSD patients.
|Cochlear Implantation in Children With Congenital Unilateral Deafness: A Case Series|
Objectives: Cochlear implant is regarded as a treatment option for hearing rehabilitation of adults with unilateral sensorineural hearing loss. A clear benefit has been experienced in regard to speech comprehension in noise, localization, and quality of life. The aim of this study was to investigate the benefit of cochlear implantation for children with congenital unilateral hearing loss. Study Design: Retrospective case series. Setting: Tertiary referral center; cochlear implant program. Patients: Ten children with congenital unilateral hearing loss. Intervention: After extensive consultation with the families and intensive counseling, the children received a cochlear implant. Main Outcome Measures: Categories of auditory performance, speech discrimination in open set, subjective assessment by Speech, Spatial and Qualities scale questionnaire. Conclusion: Eight of ten children use their cochlear implant consistently on a daily basis. Two children who were equipped with an implanted device at a later age tend to nonuse of the device. The evaluation of binaural hearing in small children is still difficult and methods have to be developed to allow objective assessment.
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