The finding of an abnormally narrow internal auditory meatus during the assessment of a child for cochlear implantation raises the possibility that the meatus may not contain the normal number of nerves. Even with currently available MRI techniques it may be extremely difficult to decide whether or not to offer cochlear implant in such cases. We present a child of 4 1/2 years, assessed for cochlear implantation. MRI and CT imaging suggested aplasia of one vestibulocochlear nerve and hypoplasia of the other. However, audiological tests showed clear responses to sound in both ears and functional use of sound in her daily life. This child was eventually implanted with encouraging postoperative results.