Round window stimulation for conductive and mixed hearing loss

Margaret T. Dillon, Rhonda S. Tubbs, Marcia C. Adunka, English R. King, Todd A. Hillman, Oliver F. Adunka, Douglas A. Chen, Craig A. Buchman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: Assess surgical complications, postoperative residual hearing, and speech perception outcomes of placement of a middle ear implant on the round window in conductive and mixed hearing loss cases.

Study Design: Single-subject, repeated-measures design where each subject served as his or her own control.

Setting: Tertiary referral medical systems.

Subjects: Eighteen subjects with either conductive or mixed hearing loss who could not benefit from conventional amplification were enrolled in a clinical trial investigating vibratory stimulation of the round window.

Intervention: The floating mass transducer (FMT) was positioned in the round window niche. Main Outcome Measures: Unaided residual hearing, and aided sound field thresholds and speech perception abilities were evaluated preoperatively, and at 1, 3, 6, and 10 months post-activation of the external speech processor.

Results: Six subjects experienced complications that either required further medical management or resolved on their own. There was no difference in residual bone conduction thresholds or unaided word discrimination over time. All subjects experienced a significant improvement in aided speech perception abilities as compared to preoperative performance.

Conclusion: Subjects with conductive and mixed hearing loss with placement of the FMT in the round window niche experienced improved sound field thresholds and speech perception, without compromising residual hearing thresholds. Vibratory stimulation of the round window via a middle ear implant may be an appropriate treatment option for patients with conductive and mixed hearing loss. Additional research is needed on the preferred placement of the FMT, improvement of functional gain, and methods to limit postoperative complications and need for revision surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1601-1608
Number of pages8
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2014


  • Conductive hearing loss
  • Middle ear implantation
  • Mixed hearing loss
  • Round window


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