Chronic electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve using non-charge-balanced stimuli
AuthorShepherd, Robert K.; Linahan, N.; Xu, J.; Clark, Graeme M.; Araki, S.
Source TitleActa Otolaryngologica
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsShepherd, R. K., Linahan, N., Xu, J., Clark, G. M., & Araki, S. (1999). Chronic electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve using non-charge-balanced stimuli. Acta Otolaryngologica, 119, 674-684.
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This study was designed to evaluate the pathophysiological response of the cochlea following long-term intracochlear electrical stimulation using a poorly charge-balanced stimulus regime, leading to direct current (DC) levels >0.1 µA. Four normal-hearing adult cats were bilaterally implanted with scala tympani electrode arrays and unilaterally stimulated for periods up to 2200 h. Stimuli consisted of 50 µs monophasic current pulses presented at 2000 pulses per second (pps) per channel, and resulted in DC levels of 0.4-2.8 µA. Both acoustic and electrical (EABR) evoked potentials were periodically recorded during the stimulation program. Frequency-specific stimuli indicated that an extensive and widespread hearing loss occurred over the 4-24 KHz region in all stimulated cochleae, although the 2 KHz region exhibited thresholds close to normal in some animals, despite long-term implantation and chronic stimulation. Longitudinal EABRs showed a statistically significant increase in threshold for three of the four animals. Histopathological evaluation of the cochleae revealed a highly significant reduction in ganglion cell density in stimulated cochleae compared with their controls. Spiral ganglion cell loss was significantly correlated with the degree of inflammation, duration of electrical stimulation, and the level of DC. In conclusion, the present study highlights the potential for neural damage following stimulation using poorly charge-balanced stimuli.
Keywordsotolaryngology; cochlear implants; cochlear pathology; cochlear physiology; direct current; electrical stimulation; electrode impedance
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- Graeme Clark Collection