Several electrical stimulation patterns of the auditory nerve have been described for tinnitus relief, but there is no consensus on the most effective stimulation pattern. Therefore, we aim to systematically review the literature on the effect of intra-and extracochlear electrical stimulation patterns as a treatment option for patients with tinnitus. Only studies on intra-and extracochlear electrical stimulation for patients with tinnitus were included if the stimulation used did not concern standardized CI stimulation patterns to primarily rehabilitate hearing loss as intervention. A total of 34 studies met the inclusion criteria, with 10 studies (89 patients) on intracochlear electrical stimulation and 25 studies on extracochlear electrical stimulation (1109 patients). There was a high to medium risk of bias in 22 studies, especially due to lack of a non-exposed group and poor selection of the exposed group. All included studies showed subjective tinnitus improvement during or after electrical stimulation, using different stimulation patterns. Due to methodological limitations and low reporting quality of the included studies, the potential of intra-and extracochlear stimulation has not been fully explored. To draw conclusions on which stimulation patterns should be optimized for tinnitus relief, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms involved in tinnitus suppression is needed.
- Extracochlear electrical stimulation
- Intracochlear electrical stimulation
- Systematic review