Is it necessary to treat Otitis Media with Effusion (OME) prior to cochlear implantation? Results over a long-term follow-up

Meirav Sokolov, Ohad Hilly, David Ulanovski, Yotam Shkedy, Joseph Attias, Eyal Raveh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Evaluate the intra- and postoperative effects of untreated otitis media with effusion (OME) in cochlear implant (CI) patients, and to assess the role of ventilation tube (VT) introduction before implantation. Study Design: A retrospective chart review. Setting: Tertiary referral center. Patients: CI patients, aged 10 years or younger, implanted during 2009 to 2013. Interventions: Cases were divided into three groups: 1) normal aerated middle ear before CI, 2) OME treated with VT, and 3) untreated OME. Main Outcome Measure(s): Intraoperative and postoperative findings and complications. Results: One hundred ninety-four cases (implanted ears) were included. Ninety-nine aerated, 39 treated with VT, and 56 with untreated OME. Mean age at implantation was 3.1, 2.1, and 1.6 years, respectively. Granulations and edema were significantly more common in untreated OME than aerated ears (62% vs. 7%, p<0.001). VT reduced the rate of these findings (46%) but not with statistical significance ( p=0.1) compared with untreated OME. Intraoperative findings were all manageable and were not associated with higher perioperative complication rates. The rates of early and late postoperative complications were low in all groups, with no significant differences between groups. Tympanic membrane perforations were encountered in two patients after VT extrusion. Rate of otorrhea was 20% during the first year after implantation and 5% at last follow up. Conclusion: Our results suggest that CI candidates with OME can be safely implanted without preimplantation VT insertion. Implanting patients with untreated OME allows earlier implantation. CI surgery can be more challenging in the presence of effusion; however, intraoperative findings are manageable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1529-1534
Number of pages6
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 28 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Otology & Neurotology, Inc.


  • Cochlear implantation
  • Complication
  • Otitis media with effusion
  • Ventilation tubes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Is it necessary to treat Otitis Media with Effusion (OME) prior to cochlear implantation? Results over a long-term follow-up'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this