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Otol Neurotol. 2010 Oct;31(8):1325-8. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3181f2ed06.

Current status of bacterial meningitis after cochlear implantation.

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NYU School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.


Meningitis after cochlear implantation continues to be a concern. Recent studies and anecdotal reports support the belief that intracochlear trauma, lack of appropriate immunizations, and a previously used dual-component electrode predispose patients to a higher rate of contracting meningitis. In addition, a history of meningitis, cochlear dysplasia, and certain variations of surgical technique such as the cochleostomy, very young age, immunocompromise, and the presence of neural prostheses such as shunts, are all potentially predisposing factors. Because many of these factors are beyond our control, there is likely to be an inevitable baseline incidence of meningitis, perhaps related to the underlying deafness, but by controlling other factors, we can hope to minimize the incidence. Despite the efforts of multiple individuals and organizations, there continue to be new cases of meningitis, including a small number of fatalities, each year. There is recent evidence that a sizeable percentage of children with implants have not been vaccinated as suggested by governmental agencies, otolaryngologic societies, implant manufacturers, and many cochlear implant centers. Clearly, efforts must be made to ensure age-appropriate vaccination for all cochlear implant recipients.

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