Cochlear implants in Waardenburg syndrome

Robert D. Cullen, Carlton Zdanski, Patricia Roush, Carolyn Brown, Holly Teagle, Harold C. Pillsbury, Craig Buchman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Waardenburg syndrome is an autosomal-dominant syndrome characterized by dystopia canthorum, hyperplasia of the eyebrows, heterochromia irides, a white forelock, and sensorineural hearing loss in 20% to 55% of patients. This patient population accounts for approximately 2% of congenitally deaf children. The purpose of this retrospective case review was to describe the outcomes for those children with Waardenburg syndrome who have undergone cochlear implantation. METHODS: Pediatric cochlear implant recipients with documented evidence of Waardenburg syndrome underwent retrospective case review. All patients received their cochlear implants at the study institution followed by outpatient auditory habilitation. Charts were reviewed for etiology and duration of deafness, age at time of cochlear implantation, perioperative complications, duration of use, and performance outcomes. Results of standard tests batteries for speech perception and production administered as a part of the patients' auditory habilitation were reviewed. RESULTS: Seven patients with Waardenburg syndrome and cochlear implants were identified. The average age at implantation was 37 months (range, 18-64 months) and the average duration of use was 69 months (range, 12-143 months). All of these patients are active users of their devices and perform very well after implantation. There were no major complications in this small group of patients. CONCLUSIONS: Children with congenital sensorineural hearing loss without other comorbidities (e.g., developmental delay, inner ear malformations) perform well when they receive cochlear implantation and auditory habilitation. Patients with Waardenburg syndrome can be expected to have above-average performance after cochlear implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1273-1275
Number of pages3
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Cochlear implant
  • Pediatric
  • Waardenburg syndrome


Dive into the research topics of 'Cochlear implants in Waardenburg syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this