Cochlear Implant Insertion Axis into the Basal Turn: A Critical Factor in Electrode Array Translocation

Victor Renato Torres Lazo, Mylène Drouillard, Daniele De Seta, Jean Loup Bensimon, Evelyne Ferrary, Olivier Sterkers, Daniele Bernardeschi, Yann Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Hypothesis: An inappropriate insertion axis leads to intracochlear trauma during cochlear implantation (CI). Background: Few studies assessed the relationship between the insertion axis and the electrode scalar location. Methods: Preimplantation cone-beam CT (CBCT) was performed on 12 human temporal bones. In five temporal bones, an optimal insertion axis was planned, due to the impossibility to attain the ST centerline from the posterior tympanotomy, because of facial canal position. In the seven other temporal bones, an inaccurate insertion axis was intentionally planned (optimal axis+15 degrees). Automated CI array insertion according to the planned axis was performed with a motorized insertion tool driven by a navigated robot-based arm. The cochlea and basilar membrane were segmented from the preimplantation CBCT and the array segmented from the postimplantation CBCT to construct a merged final three-dimensional (3D) model. Microscopical and 3D analysis were performed to determine the intracochlear trauma at the level of each electrode. Results: A good agreement was observed in determining electrode position between microscopic analysis and the 3D model (Cohen's kappa k = 0.67). The angle of approach to the ST centerline was associated with the number of electrodes inserted into the ST (r = -0.65, p = 0.02, [95% CI -0.90 to -0.11] Spearman's rank correlation). Conclusion: A 3D reconstruction model was effective in determining the array position in the cochlea scalae. Our data indicate that the angle of approach to the ST centerline is a critical factor in intracochlear trauma. Additional studies should be conducted to assess the importance of the insertion axis with other array designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-176
Number of pages9
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Renato Torres, M.D., Inserm, Paris 6: Unité ‘‘Réhabilitation chirurgicale mini-invasive et robotisée de l’audition’’, 16, rue Henri Huchard, 75018 Paris, France; E-mail: This work was supported by Cifre grant (No 269/2015 ANRT/Oticon Medical) and Agir pour l’Audition Foundation (Grant No APA RD-2014-2/R14104DD RAK14030DA). The authors disclose no conflicts of interest. Supplemental digital content is available in the text.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Otology & Neurotology, Inc.


  • 3D imaging
  • Image-guided procedures
  • Inner ear trauma
  • Neuronavigation
  • Robotics
  • Temporal bone imaging
  • Temporal bone/anatomy and histology


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