Initial Experience With a Recently Developed Lateral Wall Electrode

Zachary G. Schwam, Vivian F. Kaul, Enrique Perez, George B. Wanna, Maura K. Cosetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To review our hearing preservation rates and speech recognition outcomes in patients undergoing cochlear implantation with a recently developed lateral wall electrode. Study design: Retrospective cohort study. Methods: Retrospective case series of all patients, both pediatric and adult, undergoing cochlear implantation with the Advanced Bionics Hifocus™ SlimJ electrode between December 2017 and January 2020. Main outcomes included hearing preservation rates using several definitions, speech recognition testing primarily through Arizona Biosciences (AzBio) and Consonant-Nucleus-Consonant (CNC) testing, intra- and postoperative complications. Results: Sixty-one ears underwent implantation with the new electrode. Hearing preservation rates were 13.0% to 36.0% depending on the definition used. Speech recognition testing showed significant increases from pre- to postoperative condition (Implant-only AzBio: 24.1 to 48.3, P =.004, binaural AzBio: 46.1 to 65.9, P =.002, Implant-only CNC: 9.7 to 35.1, P <.001, binaural CNC: 29.8 to 59.40, P <.001) with last speech recognition testing occurring an average of 8.8 months postoperatively. The elderly population had the worst hearing preservation rates across all definitions. Five explantations were required due to two infections and three device failures. Conclusion: Hearing preservation rates varied significantly depending on the definition used, but users experienced a significant improvement in speech recognition testing after implantation. More work is needed in the community to standardize the definition of residual hearing and hearing preservation. Level of Evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 131:2782–2788, 2021.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2782-2788
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Cochlear implant
  • advanced bionics
  • hearing preservation
  • residual hearing
  • slim J


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