Introduction: Semicircular canal dehiscence (SCD) is defined as a defect of the bone overlying the semicircular canal. It has a relatively high prevalence of 3% in the general population, which makes it likely that a certain number of patients receiving a cochlear implant (CI) would have it. However, little is known about the influence of SCD on the CI outcome. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the influence of SCD on CI outcome with regard to short- and long-term word perception and hearing preservation.
Methods: This study was a retrospective analysis of postoperative word perception ability in the electric-only condition after 6, 12, and ≥18 months and of hearing preservation 4 weeks after surgery in CI recipients with and without SCD. All patients received a preoperative 1.5- or 3-tesla magnetic resonance imaging.
Results: Fifty-five patients were included. Forty-eight patients (87%) had no SCD, and 7 patients (13%) had SCD. Mean postoperative word perception scores were 66% in the non-SCD group versus 50% in the SCD group (p = 0.17) after 6 months, 74 versus 64% (p = 0.28) after 12 months, and 77 versus 73% (p = 0.62) after 18 or more months. The mean postoperative hearing loss in patients with functional residual hearing before surgery (n = 34) was 22 dB in the non-SCD group versus 31 dB in the SCD group (p = 0.15).
Conclusions: CI outcome is comparable between recipients without and with SCD. Specifically, hearing preservation rate and word perception ability in the electric-only condition seem not affected by SCD. The rate of progress of word perception ability in the first 12 months after cochlear implantation is not influenced by SCD.