The bone conduction implant: Clinical results of the first six patients.
Journal article, 2015
Objective: To investigate audiological and quality of life outcomes for a new active transcutaneous device, called the bone conduction implant (BCI), where the transducer is implanted under intact skin. Design: A clinical study with sound field audiometry and questionnaires at six-month follow-up was conducted with a bone-anchored hearing aid on a softband as reference device. Study sample: Six patients (age 18-67 years) with mild-to-moderate conductive or mixed hearing loss. Results: The surgical procedure was found uneventful with no adverse events. The first hypothesis that BCI had a statistically significant improvement over the unaided condition was proven by a pure-tone-average improvement of 31.0 dB, a speech recognition threshold improvement in quiet (27.0 dB), and a speech recognition score improvement in noise (51.2 %). At speech levels, the signal-to-noise ratio threshold for BCI was - 5.5 dB. All BCI results were better than, or similar to the reference device results, and the APHAB and GBI questionnaires scores showed statistically significant improvements versus the unaided situation, supporting the second and third hypotheses. Conclusions: The BCI provides significant hearing rehabilitation for patients with mild-to-moderate conductive or mixed hearing impairments, and can be easily and safely implanted under intact skin.