Special populations implanted under 18 months– trajectories in performance

Ms Maree Mctaggart1, Mrs  Colleen Psarros1, Mrs Carmel Ramsey1

1Scic, Gladesville, Australia

Over the past 30 years, SCIC has implanted over 250 children aged 18 months or younger. Routine simultaneous cochlear implantation of children identified as D/HH has been implemented since 2008 where suitability is indicated.

Of these infants, approximately 30% have disabilities and considerations in addition to their deafness.  This paper will focus on the children who have been identified with CMV or with CHARGE and will review their progress in relation to the children who have no other identifiable comorbidities.


A retrospective analysis reviewed children diagnosed with CMV and CHARGE who received their  CI’s between the period of 2006-2016  at the  age of 18 months or younger.  Variables reviewed included electrophysiological findings pre and post-operatively, functional questionnaires, device programming and usage issues, and language outcomes.

Performance of children with CMV and CHARGE was plotted on a trajectory with children with no additional disabilities using results from the LOCHI study as a benchmark. This benchmark included children with auditory neuropathy.


The children with CHARGE and with CMV differed to the benchmark group with number of ears implanted, interval at which they were implanted. For example, a high prevalence of auditory nerve abnormalities with the CHARGE group led to more unilateral or sequential bilateral CI’s . Often these children were implanted at an older age to the cohort without comorbidities mainly due to medical interventions. The impact on their overall auditory function reflected the delay in management.


The trajectories developed can provide information  essential for counselling families and setting realistic expectations of what can be achieved, and protocols and procedures for reaching these outcomes. Given the variability in these  children, providing a possible spectrum of outcomes is vital for maximising the supports and intervention that are required for maximising the potential of these infants with their families.


Maree has been working as a cochlear implant audiologist for eight years with SCIC in Newcastle. Prior to this Maree worked as a Paediatric Audiologist and Hearing Centre Manager for Australian Hearing in Newcastle. Maree has presented SCIC research at conferences in Sydney, Melbourne, South Korea and New Zealand.