gms | German Medical Science

81. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie e. V.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie e. V.

12.05. - 16.05.2010, Wiesbaden

NRT responses without hearing sensation – a case study

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Lutz Gärtner - Hörzentrum der MH Hannover, Germany
  • Andreas Büchner - Hörzentrum der MH Hannover, Germany
  • Gert Joseph - Hörzentrum der MH Hannover, Germany
  • Jürgen Neuburger - MH Hannover, Germany
  • Thomas Lenarz - MH Hannover, Germany

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. 81st Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. Wiesbaden, 12.-16.05.2010. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2010. Doc10hno047

doi: 10.3205/10hno047, urn:nbn:de:0183-10hno0471

Veröffentlicht: 6. Juli 2010

© 2010 Gärtner et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Most cochlear implant manufactures are offering the possibility to measure the electrically evoked compound action potential (ECAP) via the inserted electrode array. The ECAP threshold is widely used for fitting the speech processor to small children and also to adults. In subjects with a Nucleus RE24CA implant the ECAP threshold is about 15CL above the comfort (C-) level. Usually, the subject will have a hearing sensation at those levels.

We are presenting a case of a man with hearing loss at both ears and a congenital malformation of the cochlea. There was a clear indication for cochlea implantation due to positive promontory test and a hearing nerve visible in the MRI. At the age of 30 he received a cochlear implant. The examination of the patient showed both correct electrode placement (X-ray) and possibility to stimulate the hearing nerve (ECAP- and E-BERA responses).

During the first week of initial fitting as well as one month later the ECAP thresholds were found via NRT measurement at each of the 22 electrode contacts. At five electrode contacts (22, 20, 15, 10 and 5) amplitude growth functions were recorded. During the fitting, even C-levels 40CL above the ECAP threshold didn’t lead to hearing sensation but caused unpleasantness. During the next five weeks, we tried to get the subject accustomed to higher stimulation levels without unpleasant side-effects. In the end, this aim was achieved but the subject remained without any hearing sensation.

Conclusion: despite clear indication for a cochlear implant and intra- and postoperative evidence of a coupling of the implant to the hearing nerve, a hearing sensation can fail to occur in certain subjects.