October 20, 2010

Early Evaluation Could help Children With Hearing Loss Due To Meningitis

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Parents, listen up! Despite use of pneumococcal vaccination, some children still develop deafness following meningitis; so early evaluation is a must.

Since the PCV7 vaccine became widely used in the U.S in 2001, we've seen fewer cases of meningitis and other related diseases. However, pneumococcal meningitis continues to happen even in healthy children who receive the recommended vaccination series in early childhood. Now, researchers both of Children's Memorial Hospital and Feinberg School of Medicine say that early evaluation and simultaneous cochlear implants in both ears may be a successful treatment strategy.

They reviewed the cases of five children ranging in ages from 15 months to 10 years. Despite vaccination, these children experienced sudden hearing loss in both ears between following illness with pneumococcal meningitis. All the children underwent magnetic resonance imaging before surgery and four underwent auditory steady state response testing, which evaluates hearing loss in children too young for other tests. All successfully underwent cochlear implantation to restore hearing in both ears.

They say the use of MRI can provide helpful information about changes in the cochlea before the onset of bone information and recommend that the implant surgeons consider bilateral simultaneous implantation to increase the likelihood of success.

SOURCE: Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, October 2010