Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 51 Number 2, 2014
   Pages 325 — 332

Abstract — Sound transmission by cartilage conduction in ear with fibrotic aural atresia

Chihiro Morimoto, MD; Tadashi Nishimura, MD, PhD;* Hiroshi Hosoi, MD, PhD; Osamu Saito; Fumi Fukuda; Ryota Shimokura, PhD; Toshiaki Yamanaka, MD, PhD

Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Nara Medical University, Nara, Japan

Abstract — A hearing aid using cartilage conduction (CC) has been proposed as an alternative to bone conduction (BC) hearing aids. The transducer developed for this application is lightweight, requires a much smaller fixation force than a BC hearing aid, and is more convenient to use. CC can be of great benefit to patients with fibrotic aural atresia. Fibrotic tissue connected to the ossicles provides an additional pathway (termed fibrotic tissue pathway) for sound to reach the cochlea by means of CC. To address the function of fibrotic tissue pathway, BC and CC thresholds were measured in six ears with fibrotic aural atresia. The relationship between the CC thresholds and the results of computed tomography was investigated. In the ears with the presence of a fibrotic tissue pathway, the CC thresholds were lower than the BC thresholds at 0.5 and 1.0 kHz. At 2.0 kHz, no significant difference was observed between the BC and CC thresholds. The current findings suggest that sound in the low to middle frequency range is transmitted more efficiently by CC via a fibrotic tissue pathway than BC. The development of hearing devices using CC can contribute to rehabilitation, particularly in patients with fibrotic aural atresia.

Key words: acquired aural atresia, airborne sound, binaural hearing, bone-anchored hearing aid, bone conduction, external auditory canal, fibrotic tissue pathway, hearing aid, occlusion effect, soft tissue pathway.

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This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Morimoto C, Nishimura T, Hosoi H, Saito O, Fukuda F, Shimokura R, Yamanaka T. Sound transmission by cartilage conduction in ear with fibrotic aural atresia. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2014;51(2):325–32.

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Last Reviewed or Updated  Wednesday, May 7, 2014 2:08 PM

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