gms | German Medical Science

77th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

24.05. - 28.05.2006, Mannheim

Management of deafness after bacterial meningitis

Management der postmeningitischen Ertaubung

Meeting Abstract

German Society of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. 77th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. Mannheim, 24.-28.05.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06hno021

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 7, 2006

© 2006 Neumann et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Severe hearing loss or deafness are complications of bacterial meningitis in up to 15%. In these cases an auditory rehabilitation by cochlear implant treatment is generally accepted. Early beginning obliteration of the cochlea can lead to a difficult or impossible electrode insertion, to get optimal results a full insertion is to be demanded.

Methods: Due to a retrospective analysis of patients with cochlear implant treatment because of deafness or severe hearing loss after bacterial meningitis in the years 2002-2006 the managment of the preoperative diagnostic and the intraoperativ treatment is described and examples are shown.

Results: With early diagnosis and a fast operative treatment a full electrode insertion was possible in all cases. In case of a beginning obliteration of the inner ear structures a simultan bilateral cochlear implant operation was performed. The MRI is superior to a CT Scan showing early obliteration of the labyrinth.

Conclusions: The diagnosis of bacterial meningitis must lead to an early hearing scan. In case of deafness or severe hearing loss specialiced centers are to be contacted to get a fast imaging of the inner ear structures. Beginning obliteration indicates a quick simultan bilateral cochlear implant treatment. Patients with milder hearing loss should be treated with hearing aids. Due to a possible progressive hearing loss further inspections are necessary.


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