Objective: To determine the safety, efficacy, and outcomes of cochlear implantation in patients with chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM).
Study Design: Retrospective case review.
Setting: Tertiary referral center with large cochlear implant program.
Patients: Nineteen patients with CSOM who underwent cochlear implantation were identified. Case history, timing of surgical procedures, complications, infections, and postimplant audiometric scores (Hearing in Noise Test [HINT], City University of New York Sentences [CUNY], and Central Institute for the Deaf Sentences [CID]) were evaluated.
Main Outcome Measures: Rates of postoperative infections and complications as well as postimplant auditory performance.
Results: Twelve patients underwent a staged procedure involving canal wall down mastoidectomy or radical revision mastoidectomy with middle ear and mastoid obliteration and closure of the external auditory canal followed by cochlear implantation approximately 5 months later. Seven patients were implanted in a single procedure. There were no infections or medical complications after implantation. On average, patients had excellent audiometric scores at 1 year postimplantation (mean sentence test, 79%; SD, 14), and these scores were comparable to our general population (mean sentence test, 71%; SD, 32).
Conclusion: Cochlear implant patients with CSOM have no increased risk of postoperative infections or complications. These patients have excellent outcomes with audiometric scores comparable to the general cochlear implant population. Cochlear implantation is a safe and effective treatment for patients with profound hearing loss secondary to CSOM.