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February 07, 2013

Meningitis increases risk of failure in cochlear implants

By far the majority of cochlear implants in children function without problems and it is rare that there is any need for replacement. However, in children with a hearing loss which is the result of meningitis, there is an increased risk that the implants will not work.

Meningitis increases risk of failure in cochlear implants

It is very rare that a cochlear implant requires changing because of a fault. A new study indicates that there is an increased risk of a fault in implants in children who have had meningitis prior to the implant.

Hearing improvement returned

Furthermore, the study shows that the improvement in the children's hearing returns when the implant is replaced.

Canadian researchers have looked at the medical records of 738 children who received in total 971 cochlear implants in the period 1990 to 2010.

In that period, it was necessary to replace the implants in 34 of the children. Of these, seven had had meningitis prior to receiving their first cochlear implant. The study shows, that the children's improvement in hearing returned once the implant was replaced.

The researchers' conclusion was that there is a very low rate of failure in cochlear implants. However, in children who have had meningitis and afterwards have received a cochlear implant, there is an increased risk of failure in the implant.

The study is detailed in the December issue of Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

Source: (U.S. News & World Report LP)

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