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Title: Direct Acoustic Stimulation at the Lateral Canal: An Alternative Route to the Inner Ear?
Authors: Verhaert, Nicolas ×
Walraevens, Joris
Desloovere, Christian
Wouters, Jan
Gérard, Jean-Marc #
Issue Date: Aug-2016
Publisher: Public Library of Sciene
Series Title: PLoS One vol:11 issue:8
Article number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0160819
Abstract: Severe to profound mixed hearing loss is associated with hearing rehabilitation difficulties. Recently, promising results for speech understanding were obtained with a direct acoustic cochlear implant (DACI). The surgical implantation of a DACI with standard coupling through a stapedotomy can however be regarded as challenging. Therefore, in this experimental study, the feasibility of direct acoustic stimulation was investigated at an anatomically and surgically more accessible inner ear site. DACI stimulation of the intact, blue-lined and opened lateral semicircular canal (LC) was investigated and compared with standard oval window (OW) coupling. Additionally, stapes footplate fixation was induced. Round window (RW) velocity, as a measure of the performance of the device and its coupling efficiency, was determined in fresh-frozen human cadaver heads. Using single point laser Doppler vibrometry, RW velocity could reliably be measured in low and middle frequency range, and equivalent sound pressure level (LE) output was calculated. Results for the different conditions obtained in five heads were analyzed in subsequent frequency ranges. Comparing the difference in RW membrane velocity showed higher LE in the LC opened condition [mean: 103 equivalent dB SPL], than in LC intact or blue-lined conditions [63 and 74 equivalent dB SPL, respectively]. No difference was observed between the LC opened and the standard OW condition. Inducing stapes fixation, however, led to a difference in the low frequency range of LE compared to LC opened. In conclusion, this feasibility study showed promising results for direct acoustic stimulation at this specific anatomically and surgically more accessible inner ear site. Future studies are needed to address the impact of LC stimulation on cochlear micromechanics and on the vestibular system like dizziness and risks of hearing loss.
URI: 
ISSN: 1932-6203
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Research Group Experimental Oto-rhino-laryngology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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