Use of intraoperative CT scanning for quality control assessment of cochlear implant electrode array placement.


Imaging of cochlear implant (CI) electrode arrays (EAs) consists of intraoperative fluoroscopy to rule out tip fold-over and/or post-operative computerized tomography (CT) if concern exists regarding extrusion or misplacement of the EA. Intraoperative CT (iCT) can satisfy these current needs and enables specification of final intracochlear position. To describe iCT scanning of CI recipients at an academic medical center. iCT was used to scan CI recipients within the operating room before recovering from general anesthesia. In fiscal year 2019, 301 CI were placed (83 children, 218 adult). One hundred, seventy-five iCTs were performed (58% of total CIs) of which 52 were children (63% of pediatric CIs) and 123 were adult (57% of adult CIs). Of 7 CI surgeons, use of iCT ranged from 14% to 100% (mean 60%). Four tip fold-overs were identified and corrected intraoperatively. Surgeons reported using the images to improve technique (i.e. pulling back precurved EAs to improve perimodiolar positioning). The current standard of care for CI is to insert EAs without feedback as to final location. iCT provides surgeons with rapid post-insertion feedback which allows detection and correction of suboptimally placed EAs as well as refinement of surgical technique.