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Effects of Vibrant Soundbridge on tinnitus accompanied by sensorineural hearing loss

 Jeon Mi Lee  ;  Hyun Jin Lee  ;  In Seok Moon  ;  Jae Young Choi 
 PLOS ONE, Vol.15(2) : e0228498, 2020 
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OBJECTIVES: Tinnitus is a common symptom among patients with hearing loss, and many studies have reported successful tinnitus suppression with hearing devices. Active middle ear implantation of the Vibrant Soundbridge (VSB) is a good alternative to existing hearing devices. This study evaluated the effects of VSB implantation on tinnitus and sought to identify the main audiological factor that affects tinnitus suppression. METHODS: The study participants were 16 adults who had tinnitus with sensorineural hearing loss, and who underwent VSB implantations. Pure-tone audiometry; word recognition test; tinnitus handicap inventory (THI); and visual analog scale (VAS) assessment of loudness, awareness, and annoyance were performed before and 12 months after surgery. Changes in hearing threshold, word recognition scores (WRS), THI scores, and VAS scores were analyzed. RESULTS: VAS scores for loudness (mean difference: 1.9, 95% CI: 0.6, 3.1), awareness (mean difference: 1.6, 95% CI: 0.4, 2.8), and annoyance (mean difference: 1.7, 95% CI: 0.7, 2.8) showed significant improvements from baseline to 12 months after surgery. In addition, THI scores showed a significant decrease (mean difference: 13.8, 95% CI: 2.9, 24.9). The average hearing threshold level, WRS, and most comfortable level (MCL) also showed significant improvements at 12 months after surgery (mean difference: 17.3, 95% CI: 13.3, 21.3; mean difference: -7.6, 95% CI: -15.1, -0.1; mean difference: 26.3, 95% CI: 22.9, 29.6, respectively). Among the aforementioned factors, changes in MCL were best correlated with those in THI scores (mean difference: 2.55, 95% CI: 0.90, 4.21). CONCLUSION: A VSB implant is beneficial to subjects with tinnitus accompanied by sensorineural hearing loss. The changes in THI scores best correlated with those in MCL. This improvement may represent a masking effect that contributes to tinnitus suppression in patients with VSB implants.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Otorhinolaryngology (이비인후과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Moon, In Seok(문인석) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3951-5074
Choi, Jae Young(최재영) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9493-3458
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