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Cochlear implantation of solid organ transplant patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy

Ayub, B.; Young, N. M.

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2016 Nov 20; 91:19-22


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the incidence of infectious complications and healing problems in cochlear implant (CI) patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy following solid organ transplant. STUDY DESIGN: IRB-approved retrospective chart review of implanted patients. SETTING: Tertiary care children's hospital. METHODS: Seven patients of the more than 1000 implanted during the time period between 1991 and 2014 underwent cochlear implantation while on immunosuppressive therapy after having received a solid organ transplant. Their charts were reviewed for demographic and medical information pre- and post-implantation. The 4 males and 3 females ranged in age at CI from 2.4 to 18.8 years, with a mean of 9.0 years. Postimplant follow-up averaged 3.9 years (range: 0.1-13.1). Main outcome measures were occurrence of wound healing, infectious complications, whether open-set word recognition was achieved, and communication mode(s). RESULTS: No wound infections or delayed healing, mastoiditis, or bacterial meningitis occurred after cochlear implantation. All seven patients had received at least one pneumococcal vaccination prior to implantation. Five of 6 (83%) developed open-set speech perception, of whom 4 (67%) use only oral communication. CONCLUSION: In our series of patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy following solid organ transplantation, none developed wound healing or infectious complications after cochlear implantation. History of solid organ transplantation alone should not be a contraindication to cochlear implant candidacy which would deprive the child of the potential benefits of hearing, including language development.

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