The use of cochlear implants for selected individuals with bilateral severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss who derive limited benefit from conventional hearing aids is well established. There are situations where cochlear implantation is contraindicated. Auditory brainstem implantation (ABI) is the only solution to restore hearing when the cochlear nerve is disrupted together with pathologies where the cochlea does not provide a suitable location for cochlear implant. Labyrinthine and cochlear aplasia and cochlear nerve aplasia constitute the congenital indications for ABI. In the present review article history and development of ABI, indications, side selection criteria, surgery and audiological outcome are presented. (C) 2011 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.