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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 621845, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Effects of Unilateral Cochlear Implantation on Balance Control and Sensory Organization in Adult Patients with Profound Hearing Loss

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital, 29 avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny, 54035 Nancy Cedex, France
2Faculty of Medicine, Université de Lorraine, 9 avenue de la Forêt de Haye, CS 50184, 54505 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France
3EA 3450 DevAH, Development, Adaptation and Disadvantage, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Lorraine, CS 50184, 54505 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France
4Sports Medicine Research Laboratory, Luxembourg Institute of Health, 1460 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
5UFR STAPS, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Université de Lorraine, 30 rue du Jardin Botanique, CS 30156, 54603 Villers-lès-Nancy, France

Received 20 April 2015; Revised 30 June 2015; Accepted 9 July 2015

Academic Editor: Luis-Millán González

Copyright © 2015 Cécile Parietti-Winkler et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Many studies were interested in the consequence of vestibular dysfunction related to cochlear implantation on balance control. This pilot study aimed to assess the effects of unilateral cochlear implantation on the modalities of balance control and sensorimotor strategies. Posturographic and vestibular evaluations were performed in 10 patients (55 ± 20 years) with profound hearing loss who were candidates to undergo unilateral multichannel cochlear implantation. The evaluation was carried out shortly before and one year after surgery. Posturographic tests were also performed in 10 age-matched healthy participants (63 ± 16 years). Vestibular compensation was observed within one year. In addition, postural performances of the patients increased within one year after cochlear implantation, especially in the more complex situations, in which sensory information is either unavailable or conflicting. Before surgery, postural performances were higher in the control group compared to the patients’ group. One year after cochlear implantation, postural control was close to normalize. The improvement of postural performance could be explained by a mechanism of vestibular compensation. In addition, the recovery of auditory information which is the consequence of cochlear implantation could lead to an extended exploration of the environment possibly favoring the development of new balance strategies.