Fifty children who received a cochlear implant between 1991 and 1995 were evaluated for incidence of acute otitis media (AOM). Thirty-seven (74%) children had AOM before implantation and 8 (16%) after implantation. All children who had AOM after implantation had a history of AOM. A subgroup of 14 children required ventilating tubes for recurrent AOM before implantation. Five (35.7%) in this group had AOM after implantation. The incidence and severity of AOM decreased after implantation. All episodes of postimplant AOM were successfully treated with routine oral antibiotics, and no infectious complications occurred. A history of recurrent AOM should not inordinately delay cochlear implantation.
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