This study is intended to demonstrate that blink reflex or auropalpebral reflex evaluation can be used as a prognostic factor for the assessment of auditory and speech perception levels in prelingually cochlear implanted children.
In an observational, analytic, prospective study conducted at a single cochlear implant rehabilitation center we evaluated the presence or absence of BR in 85 prelingually cochlear implanted children. The results of subsequent auditory and speech perception tests were compared in the two groups.
The study included 85 prelingually cochlear implanted children, 46 males (54%) and 39 females (46%) who were implanted at a single academic tertiary care center. Implant age ranged 1Y+9m to 6Y+3m (Mean = 4Y+5m, SD = 1year and 3 months), and all patients were rehabilitated at a single cochlear implant rehabilitation center.
The mean results of auditory and speech perception tests were significantly higher in reflex-positive (R+) compared with reflex-negative (R–) patients.
This study shows that (R–) prelingually cochlear implanted children are not optimally suitable candidates for cochlear implantation. However if this group are implanted, other rehabilitation methods should be incorporated into their rehabilitation program to achieve better results and maximixe the efficacy of their prothesis.