Low Device Failure, Reimplant for Pediatric Cochlear Implants

Children with meningitis before implantation have increased risk of cochlear implant device failure

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Children with cochlear implant (CI) devices show low rates of CI device failure and reimplantation (CIri), according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

Antoine Eskander, M.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues estimated the rates of CI failure and CIri among 738 children who were provided with 971 devices (5,575 implant-years). Data from 1990 to 2010, from a tertiary pediatric hospital, were retrospectively analyzed. Device models were used to assess surgical findings at CIri. Hearing abilities before and after CIri were compared using the Pediatric Ranked Order Speech Perception score and the Phonetically Balanced Kindergarten score.

The investigators found that 34 patients underwent CIri during the study period, with a reimplantation rate of 2.9 percent (excluding seven patients who received their initial implants at other centers). Device failure occurred at a mean of 61 months. Of the patients requiring CIri, a disproportionately high number (20 percent) had meningitis before implantation. The best speech performance (measured before device failure) was either maintained or improved after CIri, with significantly reduced speech perception after CIri seen in two children.

"A very low rate of failure occurs in children who receive CI devices, and several factors may account for this low rate," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed financial ties to Cochlear Americas Corporation.

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