ISSN 1612-3352

Editors in Chief

Prof. Dr. Claus F. Claussen, Neurootological Research Institute of the Research Society for Smell, Taste, Hearing and Equilibrium Disorders at Bad Kissingen (4-G-F). Bad Kissingen, Germany.
Dr. med. Julia M. Bergmann,
Dr. med. Guillermo O. Bertora,
Otoneuroophthalmological Neurophysiology,
Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Production Managers

Dr. med. Julia M. Bergmann,
Dr. med. Guillermo O. Bertora,
Otoneuroophthalmological Neurophysiology,
Buenos Aires, Argentina.


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Impedance variability during the programming of the speech processor

Abstract

The most important step during the fitting of the speech processor is to determine the electrical comfort and threshold levels, which implies a series of psychophysical measurements. The intensity of the current that evokes hearing experience (hearing threshold level) and that evokes a tolerable loudness (hearing comfort level) must carefully be determined on all electrodes. The electrodes implanted into the inner ear get surrounded with connective tissue which in turn lowers their impedance. According to our experience some impedance change takes place even during the process of speech processor fitting. Our aim was to demonstrate this effect.
We carried out impedance telemetry measurements on 76 cochlear implant patients before the fitting and right after it. 59 out of 76 patients used Nucleus 24 channel implants and 17 of them used MED-EL 12 channel implants. Measurements were taken during a two year period at every fitting.
As a result we got that regardless of the type of the implant the impedance of the intracochlear electrodes decreased in most of the cases during fitting. The change shows some variability depending on the position of the electrodes and on the patient. The change of the impedance causes the change of the electrical threshold- and comfort levels, since the same hearing sensation can only be reached with a stimulus with a different amplitude. This is why it is so important to bear this change in mind.

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