Pediatric cochlear implantation is restricted to patients with stable, bilateral profound sensorineural hearing losses who derive no benefit from conventional amplification. Obtaining reliable audiologic thresholds in a young child with sudden or early-onset hearing loss can be challenging. This study examines the accuracy with which auditory brainstem response evaluation can predict unaided and aided behavioral thresholds in a child with severe-to-profound hearing loss. Reliable behavioral thresholds were obtained on 119 children who had no measurable click-evoked auditory brainstem responses at instrumentation limits of 100 dB HLn. These data show that an absent auditory brainstem response at 100 dB HLn does not necessarily indicate the absence of measurable unaided hearing for test frequencies ranging from 250 Hz to 4000 Hz. Average aided thresholds of better than 60 dB were present in 43% of the children for 500, 1000, and 2000 Hz and in 53% for 500 and 1000 Hz. Therefore, the absence of a click-evoked auditory brainstem response at 100 dB HLn in a young child is not prima facie evidence of the child’s cochlear implant candidacy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas