THURSDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- For children who have an
implanted cochlear device, rates for replacement due to device
failure are low. However, children who have hearing loss caused by
bacterial meningitis before a device was implanted appear to be at
increased risk for it to fail, a new study finds.
A cochlear implant (CI) is a small device that helps provide a
sense of sound to people who have severe hearing loss or are deaf,
according to the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other
In this study, Canadian researchers looked at the medical
records of 738 children who received a total of 971 cochlear
implant devices between 1990 and 2010. The children's median age
when they first received a cochlear implant was 33 months.
During the 20-year study period, 34 of the children required
reimplantation, a rate of about 3 percent. The average time to
device failure was 61 months. Seven of the 34 children had
meningitis before they received their first cochlear implant.
After reimplantation, most of the children maintained or
improved their best speech performance before the failure of the
initial device, the researchers found.
"In conclusion, we found a very low rate of CI failure in a pediatric implant series and several related factors that may account for this low rate," wrote Dr. Antoine Eskander, of the University of Toronto, and colleagues in a journal news release.
"Children who develop meningitis before CI appear to be at an increased risk of device failure. Most patients maintain or improve their best preoperative level of speech perception after CI reimplantation, but patients with gradual device failure have less chance of good hearing recovery," they concluded.
The study appears in the December issue of the journal
Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.
The U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication
Disorders has more about