Usher syndrome: characteristics and outcomes of pediatric cochlear implant recipients

Jatana, K. R.; Thomas, D.; Weber, L.; Mets, M. B.; Silverman, J. B.; Young, N. M.

Otol Neurotol. 2013 Feb 28; 34(3):484-9


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the characteristics and outcomes of pediatric cochlear implant recipients diagnosed with Usher syndrome (US). STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective study of consecutive pediatric cochlear implant recipients (1991-2010). SETTING: Tertiary care children's hospital. PATIENTS: Children who received a cochlear implant who were diagnosed with US either before or after implantation. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Electroretinography and ophthalmologic findings, cochlear anatomy based on preoperative imaging, age of independent ambulation, age at implantation, speech perception level, and communication method. RESULTS: Approximately 26 (3.7%) of 712 cochlear implant recipients were diagnosed with US based on the results of electroretinography and/or genetic testing. Preoperative imaging revealed no evidence of cochlear malformations. Average age of independent ambulation was 21.9 months (range, 12-30). Average age at implantation was 3.3 years (range, 6 mo to 11.6 yr). Mean follow-up after implantation was 7.8 years (range, 10 mo to 15.6 yr). Open-set speech perception was present in 92% of children, with use of a primarily oral communication mode in 69.2%. CONCLUSION: In this large series of patients with the diagnosis of US who have undergone cochlear implantation, CT and MRI imaging were normal. Significant delay in independent ambulation was present in this population secondary to abnormal vestibular function associated with US Type I. A majority of children developed significant open-set speech perception and oral communication skills. Implantation of US children provides them with the opportunity to develop useful hearing and oral communication.

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