Cochlear implantation in the very young child: Long-term safety and efficacy

J. Thomas Roland, Maura Cosetti, Kevin H. Wang, Sara Immerman, Susan B. Waltzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: Widespread universal newborn hearing screening has led to increased identification of infant hearing loss. Supported by improved diagnostic tools allowing more definitive diagnosis of profound sensorineural hearing loss in young children, cochlear implantation in children <12 months of age is now common. Literature supports short-term safety and improved auditory outcomes in these young children, however long-term data is lacking. The study examines issues of long-term safety and efficacy in cochlear implant patients implanted <1 year of age. Study Design: Retrospective chart review. Methods: Fifty children who received cochlear implants before 1 year of age were followed for up to 7 years. Age at implantation ranged from 5 to 11 months with a mean of 9.1 months. Three patients had simultaneous bilateral implantation at 8 to 9 months of age. Medical records were reviewed for complications incurred during length of device usage, including time of complication, management, and resolution. Auditory assessment included both the Infant-Toddler Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale and tests of speech perception. Results: All 50 patients had full insertions of the electrode array. There were a total of eight complications (16%) in seven patients, three major (6%) and five minor (10%), which occurred at or before 10 months postoperatively. There were no perioperative anesthetic complications. Conclusions: Cochlear implantation in children <12 months of age is safe and efficacious over an extended period of time. Rates and nature of both major and minor complications are comparable to studies in adults and older children and support continued monitoring of these patients over the long-term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2205-2210
Number of pages6
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cochlear implants
  • Long-term outcomes
  • Long-term safety
  • Young children


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