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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2011, Article ID 845879, 9 pages
Research Article

Cochlear Implantation after Bacterial Meningitis in Infants Younger Than 9 Months

1Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, KNO ZH1D-116, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2Department of Audiology, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Received 16 June 2011; Revised 22 August 2011; Accepted 15 September 2011

Academic Editor: Ingeborg Dhooge

Copyright © 2011 B. Y. Roukema et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To describe the audiological, anesthesiological, and surgical key points of cochlear implantation after bacterial meningitis in very young infants. Material and Methods. Between 2005 and 2010, 4 patients received 7 cochlear implants before the age of 9 months (range 4–8 months) because of profound hearing loss after pneumococcal meningitis. Results. Full electrode insertions were achieved in all operated ears. The audiological and linguistic outcome varied considerably, with categories of auditory performance (CAP) scores between 3 and 6, and speech intelligibility rating (SIR) scores between 0 and 5. The audiological, anesthesiological, and surgical issues that apply in this patient group are discussed. Conclusion. Cochlear implantation in very young postmeningitic infants is challenging due to their young age, sequelae of meningitis, and the risk of cochlear obliteration. A swift diagnostic workup is essential, specific audiological, anesthesiological, and surgical considerations apply, and the outcome is variable even in successful implantations.