Progression of hearing loss and cochlear implantation in large vestibular aqueduct syndrome

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Objectives: Large vestibular aqueduct syndrome (LVAS) is a congenital inner ear malformation that commonly results in progressive sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and cochlear implantation (CI). Though LVAS accounts for approximately 15% of pediatric SNHL, little is known regarding the rate and severity of SNHL in these patients. We sought to characterize the timing of SNHL progression to CI in patients with LVAS. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review at our institution from 2000 to 2018 using ICD-10 “large vestibular aqueduct syndrome,” and through identifying patients with CI who had LVAS. Demographic, surgical, and audiometric data were collected. Theoretical CI candidacy was approximated using a pure tone average (PTA) HL threshold of 70 dB. Results: Of 103 patients, 96 had bilateral LVAS, and 7 had unilateral LVAS. Forty-one patients had bilateral implants, 52 had unilateral implants, and 10 were not implanted. The mean age at first implant was 8.62 years old [95%CI = 6.75,10.49], the mean age at second implant was 12.24 years old [95%CI = 8.33,16.15], and the mean time between implants was 4.37 years [95%CI = 3.02,5.73]. LVAS patients reached HL threshold of 70 dB at a mean age of 5.16 years old (SD = 3.04) for the “worse ear” and 9.08 years old (SD = 4.96) for the “better ear.” Conclusions: LVAS patients are a heterogenous population of patients, in which some may undergo progression of HL and some may not. Further, there may be a discrepancy in the timing between patients’ theoretical CI candidacy and when they undergo CI. In order to optimize timing of CI, individual monitoring and close observation of LVAS patients is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110133
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Audiology
  • Cochlear implantation
  • Large vestibular aqueduct syndrome
  • Sensorineural hearing loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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