Vibrant soundbridge in aural atresia: Does severity matter?

B. J. McKinnon, T. Dumon, R. Hagen, E. Lesinskas, R. Mlynski, M. Profant, J. Spindel, J. Van Beek-King, M. Zernotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Congenital aural atresia (CAA) poses significant challenges to surgical remediation. Both bone anchored hearing aids (BAHA) and the Vibrant Soundbridge (VSB) have been considered as alternatives or adjuncts to conventional atresiaplasty. A consensus statement on VSB implantation in children and adolescents recommended against implantation when the Jahrsdoerfer score was less than 8. More recent publications suggest that patients with Jahrsdoerfer scores between three and seven may benefit from VSB implantation. The purpose of this study was to further investigate the outcomes of VSB implantation in CAA. The study was a multi-center, retrospective review. A retrospective review of data (patient's demographic, clinical, implant and audiological information) from four collaborating centers that have performed VSB implantation in CAA was performed. Outcomes based on severity of the atresia using the Jahrsdoerfer and Yellon-Branstetter scoring systems were also evaluated. Data from 28 patients from the four centers revealed no iatrogenic facial nerve injuries or change in bone thresholds. Post-operative speech threshold and speech recognition was, respectively, 39 dB and 94 %. Jahrsdoerfer and Yellon scores ranged from 4 to 9 and 4 to 12, respectively. The scores did not correlate to or predict outcomes. Three individual elements of the scores did correlate to initial, but not long-term outcomes. Atresiaplasty and BAHA in the management of CAA are not complete solutions. VSB may offer an alternative in these surgically complex patients for achieving amplification, though better metrics for patient selection need to be developed. Level of evidence: IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1917-1921
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Atresiaplasty
  • Aural atresia
  • Vibrant soundbridge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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