An advantage of receiving care at a world-class academic medical center is that your child has access to the latest research and may be eligible to participate in ongoing and future studies. Our surgeons and scientists are constantly innovating and studying the best treatments for better hearing and communication for all children. Here are some of our current research efforts.

  • We are studying changes in brain imaging in children with hearing loss, as well as the use of these findings in prognostication of their care: Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common congenital sensory defect in children, affecting 6 in 1,000 by age 18. It occurs as a result of inner ear dysfunction caused by genetic mutation, prenatal and postnatal infection, or prematurity. Brain microstructure could offer insights into neural development in deaf children and potentially guide therapies that optimize language development. MRI has the potential to uncover underlying congenital brain malformations that provide insights into prognostic and developmental milestones. In our studies, we found deficits in brain regions for children with various degrees of hearing loss, suggesting structural features of developmental delays. We are currently studying imaging findings on brain MRI in children with hearing loss. We predict that children with MRI changes have altered outcomes and responsiveness to intervention, and we will learn about the auditory pathway in these patients.
  • Studying the prevalence of cochlear nerve/IAC abnormalities on MRI and CT in patients with single-sided deafness (SSD). We are also studying the consistency of CT versus MRI in identifying temporal bone findings.
  • Studying imaging trends (MRI versus CT) temporally as well as interventions for single-sided deafness.
  • Recruiting patients prospectively for early amplification after cholesteatoma surgery.
  • Building a hearing loss database to follow patient hearing and speech outcomes over time for patients with normal hearing, hearing loss, hearing aids, and cochlear implants.
  • Evaluating the use of antiviral medications for congenital hearing loss caused by congenital cytomegalovirus.
  • Studying the hearing outcomes and benefits of OSIA implants.
  • Studying minimally invasive surgery, such as endoscopy, to diagnose middle ear disease.
  • Studying the social perception of children born with microtia and how this changes with reconstruction of the ear.
  • Studying the fundamental function of hearing and balance and regenerative approaches to reverse sensorineural hearing loss and balance dysfunction, as part of the Stanford Initiative to Cure Hearing loss. Link to:

Once your child becomes a Children’s Hearing Center patient, our research coordinator may contact you to discuss opportunities for you and your child to be involved in our ongoing research studies. There is no requirement to participate, and your decision to participate will not affect your child’s care.

We have found that most families participate in research to learn more about how their child is progressing. Families also enjoy contributing to the advances that lead to improved developmental outcomes for all children.

For more information on research and our ongoing studies, contact us online or call (650) 498-HEAR (4327).