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Cochlear Implantation in the Presence of a Programmable Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt

Wiet, Richard Mark*; El-Kashlan, Hussam K.

doi: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3181b04e3b
Cochlear Implants

Objective: Document challenges of cochlear implantation in the presence of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) with a programmable valve.

Patient: A 7-month-old, postmeningitic, hydrocephalic infant with profound sensorineural hearing loss.

Intervention: Ventriculoperitoneal shunt revision with a nonprogrammable valve and bilateral cochlear implantation. Magnetic fields generated by cochlear implant (CI) transmitting coil magnets were measured ex vivo.

Main Outcome Measures: Successful implantation and elimination of potential hazardous interaction between CI and VPS.

Results: Index patient reviewed and magnetic field strength presented.

Conclusion: Strong magnetic fields can potentially alter the pressure setting of programmable shunt valves, causing overdrainage or underdrainage and potential serious consequences. Clear communication between the involved medical specialties is required for optimal management of patients requiring both VPS and CI.

*Ear Institute of Chicago, Hinsdale, Illinois; and †Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Hussam K. El-Kashlan, M.D., Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Michigan, 1904 Taubman Center, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0312; E-mail:

© 2009 Otology & Neurotology, Inc.