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The Risk of Meningitis After Cochlear Implantation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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Gowrishankar, Shravan V  ORCID logo
Tomasoni, Michele 
Durham, Rory 
Umeria, Rishi 


OBJECTIVE: This study aims to estimate the rate of postoperative meningitis (both immediate and long-term) in patients following cochlear implants (CIs). It aims to do so through a systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies tracking complications after CIs. DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Library. REVIEW METHODS: This review was performed in line with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Studies tracking complications following CIs in patients were included. Exclusion criteria included non-English language studies and case series reporting <10 patients. Bias risk was evaluated using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Meta-analysis was performed through DerSimonian and Laird random-effects models. RESULTS: A total of 116/1931 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, there were 112 cases of meningitis in 58,940 patients after CIs. Meta-analysis estimated an overall rate of postoperative meningitis of 0.07% (95% confidence interval [CIs], 0.03%-0.1%; I2  = 55%). Subgroup meta-analysis showed this rate had 95% CIs crossing 0% in implanted patients who received the pneumococcal vaccine, antibiotic prophylaxis, those with postoperative acute otitis media (AOM), and those implanted less than 5 years. CONCLUSION: Meningitis is a rare complication following CIs. Our estimated rates of meningitis after CIs appear lower than prior estimates based on epidemiological studies in the early 2000s. However, the rate still appears higher than the baseline rate in the general population. The risk was very low in implanted patients who received the pneumococcal vaccine, antibiotic prophylaxis, received unilateral or bilateral implantations, developed AOM, those implanted with a round window or cochleostomy techniques, and those under 5 years.



antibiotics, cochlear implant, meningitis, otitis media, postoperative complications, postoperative meningitis, vaccination

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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg

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