Aims: To establish normative data on the size of the basal turn of the cochlea using high-resolution computed tomography of the temporal bone in adults and children. To determine whether final insertion depth angle for a perimodiolar cochlear implant electrode varies according to cochlear size. Methods: Forty-two patients screened for cochlear anomaly using computed tomography were randomly selected from patients with otologic disease. Reconstruction of the full basal turn was performed for both ears using a 1.0-mm layer, minimum intensity projection. The largest distance from the round window to the lateral wall (distance A) and the perpendicular distance (B) were measured. Distances were averaged between ears for each individual. In addition, 15 patients were implanted with the Nucleus 24 Contour Advance electrode array using a linear insertion depth of either 17 mm (n = 9) or 19 mm (n = 6). Postoperative X-rays were analyzed using the method of Xu et al. [Am J Otol 2000;21:49–56] to obtain the insertion depth angles for individual electrodes. Results: Mean distance A was 9.23 mm (SD = 0.53, range 7.9–10.8 mm). Perpendicular distance B was significantly correlated with distance A (r2 = 0.57, p < 0.001). The mean difference in insertion depth angle between the 17 and 19 mm groups was 80°. A statistically significant correlation (r2 = 0.51) was found between distance A and the insertion depth angle for the 17 mm group. Conclusions: The cochlear size measure distance A was repeatable to within the resolution of the high-resolution computed tomography image data. The basal turn of the normally formed cochlea is variable in size. These variations in size would produce >5.0 mm variation in the length of the lateral wall to the point consistent with an insertion depth angle of 360°. Cochlear size influenced final insertion depth angles obtained for the perimodiolar Nucleus 24 Contour Advance electrode.

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