Although successful cochlear implantation of patients with deafness following meningitis is expected, long-term stability of electrical current requirements has not been systematically evaluated. This study evaluated changes in programming for patients deafened by bacterial meningitis and stability of auditory performance over time. In this retrospective descriptive study, cochlear implant (CI) stimulation mode and performance of 14 patients deafened by meningitis were compared with those of an age-matched control group of patients deafened by other causes. There were no significant differences in mean performance between the meningitis group and control group (P > 0.05). However, the postmeningitis group required progressively higher stimulation levels and higher programming modes over time as compared to the control group. Even with deafness accompanied by labyrinthine ossification attributed to meningitis, neural elements were present and could be stimulated. Because increasing levels of stimulation were required over time, postmeningitic children with CIs, and those with cochlear ossification in particular, may need frequent programming adjustments to maintain performance. These patients need close follow-up of stimulation levels and programming modes postoperatively in order to perform optimally with CIs. EBM rating: B-3.
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