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December 4, 2002

Mainstream Education Possible For Children With Congenital Deafness Who Undergo Early Cochlear Implantation

From: Doctor's Guide, Canada - 04 Dec 2002

A DGReview of :"Outcome of cochlear implantation at different ages from 0 to 6 years."
Otology & Neurotology

By Veronica Rose

Children with congenital deafness have a greater opportunity to participate in mainstream education, even in kindergarten, providing cochlear implantation is performed before they are two years old.

Although children with congenital deafness who received such implants before six years of age all seemed to benefit from the procedure, implantation appears to be critical before four years of age to avoid irreversible auditory performance, say otologists. However, optimal results are achievable if the procedure is undertaken before the age of two.

These findings prompted researchers at St Augustinius Hospital in Antwerp -Wilrijk, Belgium, to evaluate the outcome in all young children relative to the age at implantation.

The retrospective longitudinal and cross -sectional analysis included all children with congenital deafness who underwent a multi-channel cochlear implant before they were six years old. Forty-eight children were included in the longitudinal analysis and 70 participated in the cross -sectional analysis. Main outcome measurements were Categories of Auditory Performance (CAP) score or their integration into mainstream primary school (20-30 percent of cases).

CAP scores were always normal after three years in children who were implanted between two and four years of age. In addition, there was a 66 percent probability that they would integrate into primary school.

When the procedure was undertaken before two years of age, there was immediate normalisation of CAP scores and a 90 percent probability of integration into mainstream kindergarten, well before primary school, researchers concluded.
Otology & Neurotology 2002; 23:6:885-890. "Outcome of cochlear implantation at different ages from 0 to 6 years."

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