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Cochlear Implantation in Postmeningitic Deafness

Philippon, Daniel; Bergeron, François; Ferron, Pierre; Bussières, Richard

doi: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3181c2a02d
Cochlear Implants

Objectives/Hypothesis: To propose guidelines in the management of a profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss after bacterial meningitis.

Study Design: Retrospective chart review.

Patients: All 40 postmeningitic cochlear implantation surgeries performed between August 1987 and April 2007.

Methods: Descriptive analysis of data on the cause of meningitis, preoperative imaging evaluation, age at implantation, time elapsed between meningitis and implantation, and relevant surgical findings.

Results: Twenty-seven children and 13 adults with postmeningitic deafness were implanted. Mean age was 3 years 8 months for the children and 44 years and 10 months for the adults. The mean time delay between meningitis and surgery was 2 years 1 month for children and 28 years for adults. Eighteen children (67%) were implanted within a year. Labyrinthitis ossificans was evidenced at surgery in 62% of patients. Intraoperative cochlear ossification was classified according to the scale described by Smullen and Balkany (2005). Stage II ossification was seen in 3 patients within 49 days, with 1 of them as soon as 21 days. There was a partial insertion in 9 patients secondary to ossification. Open-set speech discrimination was achieved by 37% of the children (10 of 27) and 23% of the adults (3 of 13).

Conclusion: We recommend early cochlear implantation for patients with bilateral profound deafness secondary to meningitis.

Département d'otorhinolaryngologie et de chirurgie cervico-faciale, Hôtel-Dieu-de-Québec du Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, Université Laval, Québec, Canada

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Daniel Philippon, D.M.D., M.D., Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, 11, côte du Palais, Québec, Canada G1R 2J6; E-mail:

Presented at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 13-16, 2007.

© 2009 Otology & Neurotology, Inc.