Treatment of age-related hearing loss in dogs with the vibrant soundbridge middle ear implant: short-term results in 3 dogs.
until further notice
SourceJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 24, 3, (2010), pp. 557-564
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
SubjectDCN 1: Perception and Action
BACKGROUND: Age-related hearing loss (ARHL), or presbycusis, is the most common form of acquired hearing loss in dogs. Middle ear implants have been used successfully in people with ARHL who cannot benefit from conventional hearing aids. HYPOTHESIS: Audibility improves in dogs with ARHL after implantation of the Vibrant Soundbridge (VSB) middle ear implant. ANIMALS: Three Beagle dogs with ARHL, mean age 11.1 years. METHODS: The dogs were assessed pre- and postoperatively by brainstem-evoked response audiometry (BERA), otoscopy, and computed tomography scans of the ears. A VSB middle ear implant was implanted unilaterally. Three months later the functionality of the implants was assessed by auditory steady-state responses (ASSRs), after which the dogs were euthanized for histopathological examination. RESULTS: The VSB was implanted successfully in all dogs. Recovery from surgery was uneventful, except for transient facial nerve paralysis in 2 dogs. ASSRs showed that hearing improved after activation of the implants with a mean of 20.7, 13, and 16.3 dB at 1, 2, and 4 kHz, respectively. The implantation procedure did not affect residual hearing (with inactive implants) as measured by BERA. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Implantation of the VSB resulted in lower ASSR thresholds, but only at the higher gain settings of the audioprocessor. As in humans, a more powerful audioprocessor is required to treat sensorineural hearing loss exceeding 20 dB in dogs. A substantial improvement in patient-owner communication will have to be demonstrated in future studies before the procedure can be recommended in clinical practice.
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