Transcutaneous Osseointegrated Implants for Pediatric Patients With Aural Atresia

Lippmann, E.; Pritchett, C.; Ittner, C.; Hoff, S. R.

JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018 Jul 7


Importance: Patients with aural atresia typically have maximal conductive hearing loss, which can have negative academic and social consequences. Transcutaneous osseointegrated implants (TOIs) can potentially restore hearing on the affected side. Objectives: To review the demographic, audiological, and surgical outcomes of TOI placement in pediatric patients with aural atresia and to describe a modification in incision technique in anticipation of later auricular reconstruction. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective case series reviewed 41 cases of TOI placement in pediatric patients between January 1, 2014, and September 30, 2016, at Lurie Children's Microtia and Aural Atresia Clinic. Patients, all younger than 18 years and with atresia or microtia, received at least 6 months of follow-up and underwent testing before and after surgery. Main Outcomes and Measures: Patient age, indication for procedure, ear sidedness, case length, incision type, complications, and other postoperative events. Audiological outcomes before and after implantation were measured using pure-tone averages and the Hearing In Noise Test for Children, presented in variable signal to noise ratios. Results: In total, 46 TOIs were performed in 38 pediatric patients, but only 41 implantations in 34 patients were included in this study. Of the 34 patients, 13 (38%) were males and 21 (62%) were females, with a mean age of 8.9 (range, 5-17) years at the time of TOI placement. Microtia on the implanted side was present in 39 cases (95%). A modified posterior-superior scalp incision technique was used in 30 (73%) of 41 ears, all in cases of microtia. One perioperative surgical complication occurred: a seroma requiring drainage. Two patients developed minor skin irritation and erythema at the magnet site related to the overnight use of the processor, which resolved when removed while sleeping. The mean (SD; range) score for the Speech In Noise test at 5 dB signal to noise ratio improved from 75.3% (14.4%; range, 50%-92%) correct in unaided/preoperative condition to 93.6% (6.95%; range, 80%-100%) correct in the aided/postoperative condition. The mean improvement in score was 18.3% (95% CI, 10.8%-25.9%), with an effect size of 1.62 (95% CI, 0.95-2.29). The mean pure-tone averages (SD; range) similarly improved from 63.7 (13.2; range, 25-11) dB to 9.6 (4.9; range, 5-15) dB. Conclusions and Relevance: Transcutaneous osseointegrated implantation has a low complication rate among pediatric patients with atresia or microtia and can provide excellent audiological results. It should be included as a treatment option for this population of patients who meet audiological criteria.

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