The Vibrant Soundbridge in Children and Adolescents: Preliminary European Multicenter Results

Henning Frenzel, Georg Sprinzl, Christian Streitberger, Thomas Stark, Barbara Wollenberg, Astrid Wolf-Magele, Nadia Giarbini, Tobias Strenger, Joachim Müller, John-Martin Hempel

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

36 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Evaluation of safety and efficacy of the Vibrant Soundbridge in the treatment of hearing loss in children and adolescents with primary focus on improvement in speech discrimination.

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective, single-subject repeated-measures design in which each subject serves as his/her own control.

SETTING: Tertiary referral center.

PATIENTS: Nineteen patients aged 5 to 17 years.

INTERVENTION: Implantation of an active middle ear implant.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Improvement in word recognition scores, speech reception thresholds, and signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) were evaluated, in addition to air and bone conduction. Oldenburger Kids Satztest/Oldenburger Satztest sentences and Göttinger/Freiburger monosyllables at 65-dB hearing level were tested in two age groups.

RESULTS: Significant speech discrimination improvement was seen in all patients after 6 months. In children 5 to 9 years old, mean monosyllable recognition improved from 28.9% (unaided) to 95.5% (Soundbridge-aided). Aided 50% sentence discrimination at 44.1 dB and SNR of -4.9 dB were measured. In patients 10 to 17 years old, mean word recognition improved from 18.5% to 89.0%, sentence reception threshold improved to 40.2 dB, and SNR to -3.6 dB. Comparison between age groups indicated a slight trend toward quicker adaptation by older subjects. However, after initial adjustment, a higher level of overall benefit was seen at 6 months in younger children.

CONCLUSIONS: Currently, the only middle ear implant approved for pediatric patients, the Vibrant Soundbridge, provides an option in cases of congenital aural atresia or disease-induced defects, when surgical intervention and reconstruction is indicated. The 6-month results in this comparatively large study population validated conclusions found in previous trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1216-1222
Number of pages7
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2015


  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Audiometry
  • Bone Conduction
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cochlear Implantation
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss/surgery
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive/surgery
  • Hearing Loss, Mixed Conductive-Sensorineural/surgery
  • Hearing Tests
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Ossicular Prosthesis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio
  • Speech Perception
  • Speech Reception Threshold Test
  • Treatment Outcome


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