The Impact of Postmeningitic Labyrinthitis Ossificans on Speech Performance After Pediatric Cochlear Implantation

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1) To characterize pediatric cochlear implant performance in patients with hearing loss secondary to bacterial meningitis. 2) To evaluate performance differences in patients with and without labyrinthitis ossificans (LO).

Study Design:

Retrospective case review.


A large university-based multidisciplinary cochlear implant program.


Forty-nine patients with hearing loss from bacterial meningitis who received cochlear implants from 1991 to 2011. Thirty-nine patients had adequate data for analysis.


Cochlear implantation with postoperative performance evaluation.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Speech perception category (SPC).


Nineteen (48.7%) patients had intraoperative evidence of LO. Fourteen patients (70.0%) without LO compared with seven (36.8%) with LO developed open-set speech after implantation. There was a trend toward better postimplant SPC outcomes in patients without LO that did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.17). The presence of LO negatively correlated with classroom placement (p < 0.05). Analysis of each group individually demonstrated statistically significant improvement in pre- versus postimplant SPC outcomes (p < 0.001).


The presence of LO may negatively affect performance in pediatric patients receiving a cochlear implant for hearing loss secondary to bacterial meningitis.

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