Skip to main content

Evidence to Improve Care

Auditory Brainstem Implantation for Adults With Neurofibromatosis 2 or Severe Inner Ear Abnormalities

Final Recommendation

The Quality business unit at Ontario Health, based on guidance from the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee, recommends publicly funding:

  • Auditory brainstem implantation for adults with neurofibromatosis 2 who are not candidates for cochlear implantation

  • Auditory brainstem implantation for adults with severe inner ear abnormalities who are not candidates for cochlear implantation

Read the final recommendation report


A rare genetic disease called neurofibromatosis 2 affects the inner ear and eventually leads to complete deafness. The condition causes tumours to form in the person’s hearing nerves, so they slowly lose their hearing. Cochlear implants cannot help them hear again and are also not an option for people who lose their hearing from other rare inner ear abnormalities.

An auditory brainstem implant is the only treatment that may help people who have become deaf due to these conditions. Electrodes are surgically implanted into the base of the person’s brain. An ear-piece worn by the person picks up sounds and sends them to the implant. This does not restore normal hearing but may allow people to hear some sounds and to recognize speech.

Ontario Health (Quality) looked at how safe and effective auditory brainstem implants are for adults with neurofibromatosis 2 or severe inner ear abnormalities who cannot use a cochlear implant. We also looked at the budget impact of publicly funding these devices in Ontario, and at the experiences, preferences, and values of adults with these two conditions.

Read the full Health Technology Assessment report for more information.


Auditory Brainstem Implantation for Adults With Neurofibromatosis 2 or Severe Inner Ear Abnormalities: A Health Technology Assessment (PDF)
March 2020

Use of this site, and the interpretation of the information contained here, is subject to important terms and conditions. Use of this site and information except in accordance with these terms and conditions is expressly prohibited.


The Ministry of Health is currently reviewing this recommendation.

The Ministry of Health has provided the following response: The Ministry has a standardized process in place to review health technology assessments and funding recommendations. This takes into consideration Ministry priorities, implementation options, the need for consultation with impacted stakeholders, and funding considerations.




RECEIVE NOTIFICATION OF WHEN OUR DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS ARE OPEN FOR FEEDBACK

Sign up for our newsletter to receive monthly notifications of when draft recommendations are open for feedback

A senior couple looking at their tablet together

Let’s make our health system healthier

Join Our Patient, Family and Public Advisors Program

Patients, families and the public are central to improving health quality.


Man smiling

Sign up for our newsletter

Are you passionate about quality health care for all Ontarians? Stay in-the-know about our newest programs, reports and news.

Health Quality Connect - Health Quality Ontario's newsletter - on an iPad and a cell phone