Cochlear health can be broadly defined as a cochlea free from disease, illness or injury as evidenced by good hair cell and spiral ganglion function, aligned with a lack of evidence of inflammation. It is important to better understand the influence of cochlear health on hearing loss treatment outcomes and to assess the safety and efficacy of future novel treatments for deafness that will be administered as adjunctive therapies to cochlear implantation.
Until recently, it has been notoriously difficult to measure cochlear health. However, due to technological advances, an additional advantage of an adjunctive approach is that post-operative monitoring of CH can be performed telemetrically using the cochlear implant (CI) electrode. Unlike other assessment methods, the CI electrode provides direct access to the cochlea, enabling cochlear health parameters to be continuously recorded. Rinri has been working with an international consortium to evaluate the feasibility of using a CI to assess cochlear health and examined patterns of electrode impedances, electrically-evoked compound action potentials (eCAPs) and electrocochleography (ECochGs), over time. We recently published this data which demonstrated that it is feasible for CI users to independently record CH measurements using their CI, and electrode impedances and eCAPs are promising measurements for objectively assessing cochlear health3.
3 Mushtaq F., Soulby A., Boyle P. et al. Self-assessment of cochlear health by cochlear implant recipients. Front. Neurol 13 (2022). https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2022.1042408