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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2010, Article ID 978594, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Investigation of Balance Function Using Dynamic Posturography under Electrical-Acoustic Stimulation in Cochlear Implant Recipients

Department of Otolaryngology, Medical University of Hannover, 30625 Hannover, Germany

Received 9 February 2010; Revised 4 May 2010; Accepted 11 May 2010

Academic Editor: Peter Sargent Roland

Copyright © 2010 B. Schwab 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.


Introduction. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the effect of electrical-acoustic stimulation on vestibular function in CI patients by using the EquiTest and to help answer the question of whether electrically stimulating the inner ear using a cochlear implant influences the balance system in any way. Material and Methods. A test population ( 𝑛 = 5 0 ) was selected at random from among the cochlear implant recipients. Dynamic posturography (using the EquiTest) was performed with the device switched off an switched on. Results. In summary, it can be said that an activated cochlear implant affects the function of the vestibular system and may, to an extent, even lead to a stabilization of balance function under the static conditions of dynamic posturography, but nevertheless also to a significant destabilization. Significant improvements in vestibular function were seen mainly in equilibrium scores under conditions 4 and 5, the composite equilibrium score, and the vestibular components as revealed by sensory analysis. Conclusions. Only under the static conditions are significantly poorer scores achieved when stimulation is applied. It may be that the explanation for any symptoms of dizziness lies precisely in the fact that they occur in supposedly noncritical situations, since, when the cochlear implant makes increased demands on the balance system, induced disturbances can be centrally suppressed.