Facial nerve stimulation after cochlear implantation

Jennifer L. Smullen, Marek Polak, Annelle V Hodges, Stacy B. Payne, Fred F. Telischi, Thomas J. Balkany

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study was designed to compare the incidence and nature of facial nerve stimulation (FNS) in patients receiving cochlear implants (CI) manufactured by Cochlear Corporation, Advanced Bionics Corporation, and MedEl. Study Design: Retrospective chart review at a tertiary referral center. Methods: The charts of 600 patients who received CIs from 1993 to 2003 with at least 1 year of follow-up were reviewed for significant FNS (FNS on at least 1 channel at functional stimulation levels). Data collected included age, sex, etiology of deafness, device type, electrode, FNS onset after initial stimulation, number and location of electrode contacts causing FNS, and loudness level at which FSN occurred. Nucleus straight and perimodiolar electrodes were also compared. Results: Thirty-nine of 600 (6.5%) patients had FNS on at least one channel, (MedEl 3 of 43 [7.0%], Nucleus 29 of 440 [6.6%], and Clarion 7 of 117 [6.0%]). The incidence of FNS in Nucleus perimodiolar electrodes (16 of 250 [6.4%]) was similar to straight electrodes (13 of 190 [6.8%]), as was the mean number of electrodes causing FNS per patient (11 vs. 12). However, straight electrodes caused stimulation at significantly softer perceived loudness levels than perimodiolar electrodes (P < .0001). Conclusions: In this large series of CI FNS, the overall incidence of FNS is consistent with previous reports. All devices had a similar incidence of FNS, but perimodiolar electrodes produced FNS only at significantly higher loudness levels than straight electrodes, making them preferable for patients at risk for FNS receiving Nucleus devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)977-982
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005


  • Advanced Bionics Corporation
  • Clarion
  • Cochlear Corporation
  • Cochlear implant
  • Deafness
  • Facial nerve stimulation
  • HL
  • MedEl
  • Nucleus
  • Otosclerosis
  • Perimodiolar electrodes
  • Straight electrodes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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