Are routine preoperative CT scans necessary in adult cochlear implantation? Implications for the allocation of resources in cochlear implant programs | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Are routine preoperative CT scans necessary in adult cochlear implantation? Implications for the allocation of resources in cochlear implant programs

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August 21, 2016
by Bruno Kenway, MRCS, DO-HNS; Petros V. Vlastarakos, MD, MSc, PhD; Anand V. Kasbekar, MRCS, DO-HNS; Patrick R. Axon, MD, FRCS(ORL-HNS); Neil Donnelly, MSc, FRCS(ORL-HNS)

Abstract

Our aim was to critically assess the influence of preoperative computed tomography (CT) scans on implantation decisions for adult cochlear implant candidates. The working hypothesis was that these routine scans might not provide critical additional information in most adult cochlear implant candidates. The charts of 175 adults with unilateral cochlear implantation were reviewed. Preoperative CT scan reports were audited, and scans with reported pathology were examined by an Otologist/ENT Surgeon. Clinic notes and multidisciplinary team meeting summaries were also analyzed to assess whether the results of the radiology report had influenced the decision to implant or the laterality of implantation. Twenty-five of the 175 scans (14.3%) showed an abnormality. Five of those 25 scans showed evidence of previous surgeries already known to the clinicians. Of the remaining 20 scans, 17 showed abnormalities, including wide vestibular aqueducts, Mondini deformities, and varying degrees of otospongiosis, the identification of which can be considered preoperatively helpful. Of the 175 scans, 3 (1.7%) demonstrated abnormalities that influenced the side of implantation or the decision to implant and, therefore, had an impact on treatment. We conclude that a preoperative CT scan seems to have an impact on treatment in only a small percentage of adult cochlear implantees. Hence, it may only need to be performed in patients with a history or clinical suspicion of meningitis or otosclerosis, if the individual was born deaf or became deaf before the age of 16, or if there are other clinical reasons to scan (e.g., otoscopic appearance). The related resources can be allocated to other facets of cochlear implant programs.

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