Automatic Cochlear Duct Length Estimation for Selection of Cochlear Implant Electrode Arrays

Alejandro Rivas, Ahmet Cakir, Jacob B. Hunter, Robert F. Labadie, M. Geraldine Zuniga, George B. Wanna, Benoit M. Dawant, Jack H. Noble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Hypothesis: Cochlear duct length (CDL) can be automatically measured for custom selection of cochlear implant (CI) electrode arrays. Background: CI electrode array selection can be influenced by measuring the CDL, which is estimated based on the length of the line that connects the round window and the lateral wall of the cochlea when passing through the modiolus. CDL measurement remains time consuming and inter-observer variability has not been studied. Methods: We evaluate an automatic approach to directly measure the two-turn (2T) CDL using existing algorithms for localizing cochlear anatomy in computed tomography (CT). Pre-op CT images of 309 ears were evaluated. Two fellowship-trained neurotologists manually and independently measured CDL. Inter-observer variability between measurements across expert and automatic observers is assessed. Interobserver differences for choice of electrode type are also investigated. Results: Manual measurement of CDL by experts tends to underestimate cochlea size and has high inter-observer variability, with mean absolute differences between expert CDL estimations of 1.15 mm. Our results show that this can lead to a large number of cochleae for which a different electrode array type would be selected by different observers, depending on the specific threshold value of CDL used to decide between array type. Conclusion: Choosing the best CI electrode array is an important task for optimizing hearing outcomes. Manual cochleae length measurements are user-dependent, and errors impact upon the CI electrode array choice for certain patients. Measuring cochlea length automatically is less time consuming and generates more repeatable results. Our automatic approach could make use of CDL for patientcustomized treatment more clinically adoptable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-346
Number of pages8
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Cochlea size
  • Cochlear duct length
  • Cochlear implant
  • Electrode array selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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