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Rinaldi P.,CNR Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies | Baruffaldi F.,University of Trento | Burdo S.,Gruppo Otologico Piacenza | Caselli M.C.,CNR Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies
International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders | Year: 2013

Background An increasing number of deaf children received cochlear implants (CI) in the first years of life, but no study has focused on linguistic and pragmatic skills in children with CI younger than 3 years of age. Aims To estimate the percentage of children who had received a CI before 2 years of age whose linguistic skills were within the normal range; to compare linguistic skills of children implanted by 12 months of age with children implanted between 13 and 26 months of age; and to describe the relationship among lexical, grammar and pragmatic skills. Methods & Procedures The participants consisted of children who were included on the patient lists of the Service of Audio-Vestibology of the Circolo Hospital in Varese, Italy, and met the following criteria: chronological age between 18 and 36 months; CI activated between 8 and 30 months of age; absence of other reported deficits; hearing parents; and not less than 6 months of CI experience. Language development was evaluated through MacArthur-Bates CDI; pragmatic skills (assertiveness and responsiveness) were evaluated through the Social Conversational Skills Rating Scale. The scores obtained were transformed into z-scores and compared with normative data. The relationship among lexical, grammar and pragmatic skills were tested using Spearman Rho correlations. Children with CI were divided into groups based on the age at CI activation and the differences between the two groups were tested using the Student's t-test. Outcomes & Results Data from 23 deaf children were collected. Fewer than half of the children were within the normal range for lexical production and use of sentences; more than one-third of them fell below the normal range for both lexical and grammar skills. No significant difference was found in vocabulary size or early grammar skills when comparing children who received the CI by 12 months of age with those implanted during the second year of life. Despite the strong relationship among lexical, grammar and pragmatic skills, the delays found for grammar and pragmatic skills were greater than expected based on the vocabulary size. Age at diagnosis of hearing loss was the only predictor of vocabulary size. Conclusions & Implications CI may provide deaf children with a good opportunity to develop language skills, but severe difficulties in early social experiences and interaction mediated by language still remain. Delays in these aspects suggest that interventions improving pragmatic skills are recommended even on very young children with CI. © 2013 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.


Bacciu A.,University of Parma | Medina M.,Gruppo Otologico Piacenza | Medina M.,University of Chieti Pescara | Ammar M.B.,Tunis el Manar University | And 9 more authors.
Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology | Year: 2014

Objective: This study aimed to report our experience in the management of patients with intraoperatively diagnosed intracranial facial nerve schwannomas (FNSs) and propose a decision-making strategy. Methods: Twenty-three patients with FNS of the internal auditory canal and/or cerebellopontine angle operated on between 1992 and 2012 were identified. Results: Preoperatively, all cases have been radiographically diagnosed as vestibular schwannomas. Operative procedures consisted of total tumor resection with grafting in 43.4% of patients, near-total resection leaving behind the tumor capsule overlying the facial nerve in 21.7%, total tumor resection with preservation of anatomic continuity of the facial nerve in 13%, and subtotal resection in 4.3%. Four patients (17.4%) underwent bony decompression with no tumor removal. Conclusion: Management of FNS diagnosed at surgery represents a significant clinical challenge. We considered total tumor resection with grafting when patients presented with preoperative facial nerve palsy (≥ grade III). Both subtotal and near-total tumor removal can be performed in patients with preoperative good facial function and/or large tumors with brainstem compression. Patients with small tumors who were selected for hearing preservation surgery can be considered for bony decompression. Fascicle preservation surgery may be an option when a clear cleavage plane between the tumor and the facial nerve is found. © The Author(s) 2014.


De Freitas M.R.,Gruppo Otologico Piacenza | Russo A.,Gruppo Otologico Piacenza | Sequino G.,Gruppo Otologico Piacenza | Piccirillo E.,Gruppo Otologico Piacenza | Sanna M.,Gruppo Otologico Piacenza
Audiology and Neurotology | Year: 2012

Objective: To compare hearing preservation and facial nerve function outcomes in patients undergoing vestibular schwannoma surgery performed using either the middle cranial fossa approach (MCFA) or the retrosigmoid approach (RSA). Materials and Methods: A review of the medical records of patients diagnosed with vestibular schwannoma who underwent surgical tumor removal in a single reference center via the MCFA or the RSA between January 1988 and December 2008 was conducted. Results: During this period, 90 patients underwent surgery via the MCFA while 86 patients received surgical treatment via the RSA. Of the patients subjected to the MCFA, 80.7% were characterized by a House-Brackmann (HB) grade I or II outcome, whereas 96.5% of patients undergoing the RSA were characterized by a HB grade I or II outcome (p = 0.001). This difference appeared only for extrameatal tumors when we compared size-matched tumors (58.3% MCFA vs. 98% RSA; p = 0.0006). There was no statistically significant difference in the hearing outcomes upon consideration of hearing preservation as characterized by the modified Sanna classification system involving classes A and B (18.9% MCFA vs. 10.6% RSA; p = 0.122). Conclusion: No statistically significant difference in hearing preservation was identified when comparing tumors operated upon via the MCFA versus the RSA. However, our results indicate that a higher risk of facial nerve function impairment exists if the surgery is performed via the MCFA under circumstances where the tumor extends to the cerebellopontine angle. © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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