Cochlear implant

Dr Ian Bickle and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

Cochlear implants (CI) are a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. Unlike conventional hearing aids, the cochlear implant does not amplify sound, but works by directly stimulating any functioning auditory nerves inside the cochlea with an electric field.

External components of the cochlear implant include a microphone, speech processor and a radiofrequency (RF) transducer or primary headpiece coil. A secondary coil is implanted beneath the scalp and inductively coupled to the primary headpiece coil.

The implant gives recipients additional auditory information, which may include sound discrimination fine enough to understand speech in quiet environments. Post-implantation rehabilitative therapy is often critical to ensuring successful outcomes.

Radiographic features

Plain radiograph

Post operative plain film radiography of the temporal bones are sufficient in a majority of patients. Plain radiography is the most helpful modality to assess for extrusion and superior in assessing the number of inserted electrodes. Typically a modified Stenvers view is performed, which has succeeded the original Stenvers view.


Particularly useful when postoperative radiographs fail to demonstrate the location of the electrode array adequately or if postoperative infection is suspected 1

Article information

rID: 6155
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Cochlear implantation
  • Cochlear implants
  • Cochlear implant (CI)

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Cases and figures

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  • Case 2 : MIP
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