The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

Clinical Records

Cochlear implant electrode array misplacement: a cautionary case report

E Muzzia1a2 c1, P Boscolo-Rizzoa3, R Santarellia1 and M A Beltramea4

a1 Audiology and Phoniatrics Service, University of Padua School of Medicine, Treviso Regional Hospital, Italy

a2 Otorhinolaryngology Unit, Department of Surgical Specialties, Santa Maria della Misericordia University Hospital, Udine, Italy

a3 Otolaryngology Section, Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, University of Padua School of Medicine, Treviso Regional Hospital, Italy

a4 Division of Otorhinolaryngology, Santa Maria del Carmine Hospital, Rovereto, Trento, Italy


Objective: To report a series of pitfalls and complications in a case of cochlear implantation.

Method: Case report.

Results: An 11-year-old boy affected by auditory neuropathy underwent cochlear implantation. Intra-operative assessment was apparently consistent with correct insertion of the electrode array into the cochlea. However, subsequent high resolution computed tomography revealed that the entire electrode array was curled up within the vestibule. Revision surgery was complicated by cerebrospinal fluid leakage. A straight probe was repeatedly inserted into the internal auditory canal, before conversion to a canal wall down procedure and appropriate positioning of the electrode array.

Conclusion: In this case, mild anteriorisation of the facial nerve created an awkward insertion angle for the electrode array via the retro-facial route, which may have triggered the described series of adverse events.

(Accepted June 15 2011)

(Online publication February 01 2012)


Dr E Muzzi takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper

Competing interests: None declared