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Keywords:

  • cochlear implantation;
  • organ transplantation;
  • postoperative complications;
  • hearing loss;
  • deafness;
  • ear surgery;
  • wound infection;
  • wound healing

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis: Compared to immunocompetent patients, organ transplant recipients receiving immunosuppressant medications may experience higher rates of postoperative complications. This study was designed to retrospectively review the outcomes of cochlear implantation among organ transplant patients.

Study Design: Retrospective case series.

Methods: Five organ transplant patients received seven cochlear implantations at the University of Miami Ear Institute from January 1, 1992, until August 31, 2005. Inpatient and outpatient records were analyzed to identify healing problems, wound infections, and speech recognition after implantation.

Results: There were no healing problems, wound infections, or other complications noted among cochlear implant recipients who had also received organ transplantation. Open-set sentence discrimination as measured by the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT), City University of New York (CUNY) test, and/or Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) tests ranged from 46% to 89%. Open-set word recognition as measured by the Consonant Nucleus Consonant (CNC) or the Northwestern University number 6 (NU-6) test ranged from 26% to 64%.

Conclusions: This series suggests that cochlear implantation can be safe and effective for solid organ transplant recipients on immunosuppressants, with discrimination performance within the expected ranges for cochlear implant patients.