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Objective: Compare preoperative and postoperative performance in patients undergoing cochlear implantation (CI) for unilateral severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss (single-sided deafness, SSD).

Study Design: IRB-approved, prospective

Setting: Tertiary center

Patients: Twenty-nine patients have undergone CI for SSD. SSD was due to Meniere's disease (MD) in 10 subjects; these also suffered from recalcitrant vertigo spells and in these 10 patients along with 2 others the CI was placed simultaneous with a labyrinthectomy.

Intervention(s): CI with or without labyrinthectomy.

Main Outcome Measure(s): CNC word and AzBio sentences in quiet were administered to the implanted ear. A multiple-loudspeaker sound localization test was administered in the bilateral listening condition. All data were collected preoperatively and 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively with postoperative data available for 19 subjects. Additionally, a tinnitus handicap questionnaire is administered pre- and 12-months post-operatively.

Results: CNC word and AzBio sentence scores showed improvement in the implanted ear. Sound localization appeared to improve in an experience-dependent fashion in some patients. Most patients reported diminished tinnitus after cochlear implantation. All patients undergoing labyrinthectomy experienced resolution of vertigo attacks.

Conclusion: CI restores auditory function to the deafened ear. Additionally, the binaural input appears to improve sound localization for most patients. In patients with severe hearing loss and recalcitrant vertigo attacks because of MD, simultaneous labyrinthectomy and CI effectively relieves vertigo attacks and improves auditory function.

Copyright (C) 2013 by Otology & Neurotology, Inc. Image copyright (C) 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health/Anatomical Chart Company