Saphyr® neo establishes new landmark speech performance levels

A longitudinal study evaluated speech perception performances during the first year after patients were implanted with a Digisonic SP/Saphyr® neo cochlear implant system. Their speech perception scores in quiet and in noise were evaluated and compared with scores obtained with former versions of the sound processor. Speech perception outcomes obtained with Saphyr® neo showed high performance levels and major improvements compared to former sound processor generations.

A group of 10 patients, who were provided with implants by the surgical team of Professor Eric Truy at the Edouard Herriot Hospital in Lyons, France1, were followed for one year after they received a Digisonic SP/Saphyr® neo cochlear implant system. 

Speech perception was measured in these patients three months, six months and one year after they received their new cochlear implant system. Speech scores were evaluated using sentences in quiet, isolated words presented in quiet at 65 dB SPL, and in the presence of a concurrent speech-shaped noise presented at a +10 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR: target words at 65 dB SPL and noise at 55 dB SPL).

Read more about the study: Saphyr® neo establishes new landmark speech performance levels, and see the improved results in speech

Compared to just before cochlear implantation (BCI on Figure 1), speech perception in quiet increased rapidly to reach 78% of correct sentence comprehension and 68% of correct isolated words comprehension after only 3 months of habituation. These scores improved over the first year of cochlear implant usage, reaching an average of 94% identification for sentences and 78% for isolated words after the first year. Speech-in-noise scores reached an average of 52% correct word identification in noise after the first year.

These scores were compared with those obtained from patients tested in comparable conditions in a large multicentre study ran by Lazard et al.2 evaluating the outcomes of former sound processor versions: the Digisonic SP, released in 2004, and the Convex SP, released in 1999.

Fig 1: Speech perception scores (N=10)

Comparison between three successive generations of sound processors

Scores for sentence recognition, expressed in percentage of correct sentences (Figure 2), improved from 51% with the Convex SP to 75% with the Digisonic SP, reaching 94% with the Saphyr® neo SP. These observations provide direct evidence of the translation of technological improvements into speech perception benefits for cochlear implant users, with a +24% increase from generation 1 (1999) to generation 2 (2004) and another +19% increase in speech perception for the third generation (2014).
The improvements observed with the Saphyr® neo speech processor can be explained in part by the introduction of the new CrystalisXDP compression system, which was separately evaluated in another multicentre clinical trial,3 and by the introduction of the Voice Track, a multi-band noise reduction system.

Figure 2. Comparison of three successive generations of sound processors

About the study

Study participants were 10 adults (6 females, 4 males), aged 55.9 years on average and presenting with post-lingual deafness. Aetiology and duration of deafness varied across the members of the study group. Patients were tested during routine follow-up sessions at 3, 6 and 12 months after unilateral cochlear implant surgery. Measurements were taken in a soundproof booth at the hospital, including: Free-field warble-tone audiometry at 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 Hz, and speech perception measures in the best-aided condition. Speech perception was assessed using free-field vocal audiometry with open-set sentences in quiet (65 dB SPL), words in quiet (Fournier list of 10 open-set, disyllabic words, 65dB SPL) and isolated words in noise: same material + speech-shaped noise + 10-dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).

Reference List 

1. Borger, D., Lina-Granade, G., Verneyre, S., Thai Van, H., Saai, S., Hoen, M., Gnansia, D., Truy, E. (2015) One-year follow-up of auditory performance in post-lingually deafened adults implanted with the Neurelec Digisonic® SP/Saphyr®® neo cochlear implant system. Audiology Research. Oct; 5(139):76–79.
2. Lazard, D.S., Bordure, P., Lina-Granade, G. et al. (2010), Speech perception performance for 100 post-lingually deaf adults fitted with Neurelec cochlear implants: comparison between Digisonic® Convex and Digisonic® SP devices after a 1-year follow-up period. Acta Oto-laryngologica. Nov; 130(11):1267–73.
3. Bozorg-Grayeli, A., Guevara, N., Bébéar, J.P., Ardoint, M., Saaï, S., Hoen, M., Gnansia, D., Romanet, P., Lavieille, J.P. (2015) Clinical evaluation of the XDP output compression strategy for cochlear implants. European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology. 17 Oct 2015.