Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MRIs Better At Diagnosing Needs For 'Bionic Ear' Implants

Date:
January 12, 2006
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Magnetic resonance imaging is a better diagnostic tool for cochlear ear implants than the more commonly used high-resolution computed tomography, a UT Southwestern study shows.

A research team led by Dr. Peter Roland, professor and chairman of otolaryngology, has found that magnetic resonance imaging offers better diagnostic information for cochlear ear implants than the more commonly used high-resolution computed tomography.
Credit: Image courtesy of UT Southwestern Medical Center

Magnetic resonance imaging is a better diagnostic tool for cochlear ear implants than the more commonly used high-resolution computed tomography, a UT Southwestern study shows.

Related Articles


A cochlear implant, sometimes called a "bionic ear," allows patients with congenital hearing loss to bypass the problem and again perceive sound. Surgeons conduct radiologic studies using either an MRI or CT scan prior to implantation to determine abnormalities in the inner ear, conditions of related nerves and any obstructions in the ear ducts.

In the first head-to-head comparison, a research team led by Dr. Peter Roland, professor and chairman of otolaryngology, found that MRIs offered a more detailed view and better information on specifics. The results are reported online in the journal Otology & Neurotology.

"Thirty percent of patients we evaluated had abnormalities on MRI we would not have seen on CT, whereas in none of the patients were there findings on CT that we wouldn't have seen on MRI," said Dr. Roland, the study's senior author.

Some of those specifics help determine which surgical technique is used, the specific electrode arrays employed and can impact in which ear the cochlear implant is placed.

"In half the patients who had abnormalities on MRI that weren't seen on CT, it made a difference in which ear was selected for implantation," he said.

In the study, researchers evaluated the records of 56 implantation candidates, imaging 112 temporal bones. CT scans found as few as 6 percent of certain abnormalities.

On average, testing and anesthesiology costs for MRIs are 40 percent to 50 percent higher than those associated with CTs.

The implant is essentially a bionic ear, Dr. Roland said. The ear normally translates sound waves - a mechanical form of energy - to electrical impulses, which the brain perceives as sound. Implants bypass the dysfunctional inner ear and mirror the natural mechanical-to-electrical-impulse translation, a different process than hearing aids, which simply amplify the sound waves.

Cochlear implantation is targeted to those with nerve deafness, which patients can be born with or can acquire as part of the aging process, from injury, from excessive noise or from toxic reactions.

The implants work best for individuals who have lost hearing after they have acquired speech, and are more effective in those with recent hearing loss. They also work very well with those born deaf, provided they are implanted early, such as before age 7 or 8.

"The earlier you implant the device, the better the results," Dr. Roland said.

In about 1 percent or 2 percent of cases, the implants can become infected. In related research, Dr. Roland analyzed how the implants become infected and concluded that cochlear implant material allows a biofilm to form that bacteria live in. The biofilm makes it difficult for antibiotics to reach the bacteria, altering the metabolism and limiting the effectiveness of antibiotics.

"Eradicating the infection with antibiotics is very difficult and sometimes impossible," Dr. Roland said. "In those cases, the implant has to be removed. The patient can't hear again until the implant is put back again, which is often six to eight weeks. So it's a very unpleasant experience, especially for children."

The study was the first to remove an uninfected implant - the failure was electronic - and find no biofilm. That indicated to researchers that the biofilms cause infection, he said.

Researchers found nooks and crannies in the design of the implants that contribute to biofilm development, giving designers some new information to help eliminate the problem.

"We're also working on techniques to alter the surface structures of cochlear implants at the nano level to keep these biofilms from forming," Dr. Roland said.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study included Drs. Timothy Booth, associate professor of radiology, and David Parry, a former resident.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "MRIs Better At Diagnosing Needs For 'Bionic Ear' Implants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060112040812.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2006, January 12). MRIs Better At Diagnosing Needs For 'Bionic Ear' Implants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060112040812.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "MRIs Better At Diagnosing Needs For 'Bionic Ear' Implants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060112040812.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins