Vestibular implant imaging

A. Hedjoudje, D. P. Schoo, B. K. Ward, J. P. Carey, C. C. della Santina, M. Pearl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SUMMARY: Analogous to hearing restoration via cochlear implants, vestibular function could be restored via vestibular implants that electrically stimulate vestibular nerve branches to encode head motion. This study presents the technical feasibility and first imaging results of CT for vestibular implants in 8 participants of the first-in-human Multichannel Vestibular Implant Early Feasibility Study. Imaging characteristics of 8 participants (3 men, 5 women; median age, 59.5 years; range, 51–66 years) implanted with a Multichannel Vestibular Implant System who underwent a postimplantation multislice CT (n ¼ 2) or flat panel CT (n ¼ 6) are reported. The device comprises 9 platinum electrodes inserted into the ampullae of the 3 semicircular canals and 1 reference electrode inserted in the common crus. Electrode insertion site, positions, length and angle of insertion, and number of artifacts were assessed. Individual electrode contacts were barely discernible in the 2 participants imaged using multislice CT. Electrode and osseous structures were detectable but blurred so that only 12 of the 18 stimulating electrode contacts could be individually identified. Flat panel CT could identify all 10 electrode contacts in all 6 participants. The median reference electrode insertion depth angle was 9° (range, 57.5° to 45°), and the median reference electrode insertion length was 42 mm (range, 2166 mm). Flat panel CT of vestibular implants produces higher-resolution images with fewer artifacts than multidetector row CT, allowing visualization of individual electrode contacts and quantification of their locations relative to vestibular semicircular canals and ampullae. As multichannel vestibular implant imaging improves, so will our understanding of the relationship between electrode placement and vestibular performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-376
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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