About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Cochlear Implants Safe For Organ Transplant Patients

by VR Sreeraman on February 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM
Font : A-A+

 Cochlear Implants Safe For Organ Transplant Patients

Researchers have found cochlear implants to be a safe and effective means for organ recipients who have lost their hearing due to their intake of transplant-related drug regime.

The antibiotics and immunosuppressive drugs required by organ transplant patients can cause deafness, said Dr. Brian J. McKinnon, otologist and neurotologist at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University.

Advertisement

Antibiotics can destroy the finite number of dark cells in the inner ear. These cells produce the minute amount of fluid needed to help convert sound waves to neural impulses the brain can interpret. Apparently these dark cells are very metabolically active and antibiotics are designed to interfere with bacteria's metabolic activity. "When you destroy the ability to make fluid, the system no longer functions," McKinnon said. Any sound patients may hear is incomprehensible.

Drugs that keep the immune system from attacking a transplanted organ can also leave the inner ear vulnerable to infection. In fact, cochlear implant patients typically get vaccinations to bolster their immune response to common infections since an electrode, connecting the device to the inner ear, can become a highway for bacteria and viruses. "If you do make the immune system work better, they may reject their organ," McKinnon notes.
Advertisement

Consequently, only a few transplant patients worldwide have gotten cochlear implants.

However, the new, small retrospective study provides more evidence that patients can restore their hearing without additional health risks if they wait at least six months after the organ transplant and take the right antibiotic before and after the cochlear implant procedure, McKinnon said. He and Dr. Kenneth C. Iverson, Chief Resident in otolaryngology at MCG, are co-authors of the study published in the American Journal of Otolaryngology. Two previous studies described experience with less than a dozen total patients.

The GHSU study focuses on two patients, including a 47-year-old woman who developed profound hearing loss five years after receiving a kidney from a living family member when a severe infection put her in intensive care and required several powerful antibiotics. She received a cochlear implant 18 months after the infection and six years after her transplant; her treatment included an intravenous antibiotic before the surgery and an oral antibiotic for a week afterward as well as continuation of her usual transplant-related medications. Her hearing was essentially normal 13 months later. She died two years after her implant from an unrelated health problem.

A 50-year-old man, who received a kidney from a deceased donor, experienced profound hearing loss six weeks after a severe brain infection. He received a cochlear implant seven months after his transplant and similar antibiotic therapy. About 75 percent of his hearing was restored 14 months later.

"This study adds to the growing evidence that successful cochlear implantation can be achieved in appropriately selected renal transplant patients," McKinnon and Iverson write. They have continued to use the device selectively in transplant patients and plan a larger, retrospective study.

Cochlear implants, which today are less than an inch in diameter, are placed behind the ear in between the scalp and skull. A short lead is inserted through the skull to the inner ear, located near the base of the brain. The devices are used in patients when other methods, such as traditional hearing aids, have failed. The device is costly and often not fully covered by private or federal health insurance, which has limited its use.

About 20 adults per 100,000 are deaf by the time they reach their senior years, primarily as a result of infections or repeated exposure to loud noise; 1-2 children per 1,000 are born with hearing loss.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Health Benefits of Sea Buckthorn
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Tongue Abnormalities Presbycusis Hearing Aids Auditory Tumor Hearing Loss in Young Children and Early Intervention Cochlear Implants 

Recommended Reading
Transplantation
Organ and tissue transplantation can give a second chance at life to thousands of people. Learn ......
Hearing Aids
Hearing aid is an electronic device that helps people with hearing loss to hear more and ......
ORGAN DONATION
Why is organ donation regarded as crisis with a cure? Read more to find out. View slide show on ......
Experts Call for State Subsidy for Cochlear Implants
Cochlear implants offer a way out of hearing impairment. They are surgically implanted electronic .....
Auditory Tumor
Auditory Tumor or Acoustic neuroma is a benign growth that arises on the vestibular cochlear nerve. ...
Cochlear Implants
Cochlear implant a surgically implanted device is suitable for those with damaged inner ear (cochlea...
Hearing Loss in Young Children and Early Intervention
Early identification of hearing loss in infants and young children and treating hearing impairment c...
Presbycusis
Presbycusis (age related hearing loss) is the gradual loss of hearing that occurs as people get olde...
Tongue Abnormalities
Tongue is the only muscle that is attached to only one end. The abnormalities of the tongue include ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use