Meningitis, Ossification and Cochlear Implants
Nichani et al investigated the outcomes of cochlear implantation in children (younger than 16 years of age) with post-meningitic hearing loss, based on a retrospective case review. Fifty-two children diagnosed with bacterial meningitis were included. Approximately half the children had cochlear ossification (from partial to complete). The mean duration of implant use was 8.5 years for both groups (ossified and non-ossified).
The authors concluded that the majority of children who receive cochlear implants due to hearing loss secondary to bacterial meningitis benefit significantly. They caution results vary and are difficult to predict. Nonetheless, acquisition of speech and language skills, via cochlear implants, in the presence of ossification certainly can occur.
Nichani et al report that early bilateral implantation is widely regarded as essential and they note that although ossification certainly presents surgical problems, there are many solutions that provide gratifying outcomes.
For More Information, References and Recommendations
Nichani J, Green K, Hans P, Bruce I, Henderson L, Ramsden R. (2011) Cochlear Implantation After Bacterial Meningitis in Children—Outcomes in Ossified and Non-Ossified Cochleas. Otology & Neurotology 32(5):784-789.