Etiology and therapy indication for cochlear implantation in children with single-sided deafness: Retrospective analysis

S. L. Cushing, K. A. Gordon, M. Sokolov, V. Papaioannou, M. Polonenko, B. C. Papsin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: The characteristics of children with single-sided deafness (SSD) who become candidates for unilateral cochlear implantation (uCI) were identified. Study design: In all, 118 children with SSD presenting from 2013–2019 to a tertiary pediatric children’s hospital were retrospectively assessed regarding candidacy for uCI. Results: Of the 118 children, 103 had completed uCI candidacy assessment, while 15 were undergoing this assessment at the time of review. More than half of children did not go on to implantation (63/103, 61%), with the 2 main reasons being (1) half (31/63) did not meet candidacy criteria for implantation, most commonly due to cochlear nerve aplasia/hypoplasia (31/82 who were assessed with MRI, 38%) and (2) families (30/103; 29%) declined participation in the surgical arm of the trial. The most common etiologies of SSD in the 37/103 (36%) children who both met candidacy and consented to implantation were congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV; 16/37, 43%), unknown (6/37, 16%), cochleovestibular anomaly and trauma (each 5/37, 14%). Conclusions: Many children with SSD who present for implant candidacy assessment do not ultimately receive uCI. Major factors contributing to noncandidacy are cochlear nerve aplasia and parental acceptance of the intervention. While approximately half of children with SSD in our cohort were candidates for implantation, only 1/3 of the total cohort proceeded with implantation with the main predictors of acceptability of this intervention being an etiology (i.e., cCMV) that carries risk of progressive deterioration in the better hearing ear or SSD that was sudden in onset. These findings provide important insight into this new population of cochlear implant users and the emerging acceptance of intervention in children with SSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)750-759
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature.


  • Cochlear nerve aplasia
  • Cochlear nerve hypoplasia
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Hearing loss
  • Pediatrics
  • Unilateral deafness


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