Meningitis and a safe dexamethasone-eluting intracochlear electrode array

Dimitra Stathopoulos*, Scott Chambers, Louise Adams, Roy Robins-Browne, Christopher Miller, Ya Lang Enke, Benjamin P C Wei, Stephen O’Leary, Robert Cowan, Carrie Newbold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To evaluate the potential risk of pneumococcal meningitis associated with the use of a dexamethasone-eluting intracochlear electrode array as compared with a control array. Methods: In two phases, adult Hooded–Wistar rats were implanted via the middle ear with an intracochlear array and were inoculated with Streptococcus pneumoniae 5 days post-surgery. Phase I created a dosing curve by implanting five groups (n= 6) with a control array, then inoculating 5 days later with different numbers of S. pneumoniae: 0 CFU, 103 CFU, 104 CFU, 104 CFU repeated, or 105 CFU (colony forming units). A target infection rate of 20% was aimed for and 104 CFU was the closest to this target with 33% infection rate. In phase II, we implanted two groups (n= 10), one with a dexamethasone-eluting array, the other a control array, and both groups were inoculated with 104 CFU of S. pneumoniae 5 days post-surgery. Results: The dexamethasone-eluting array group had a 40% infection rate; the control array group had a 60% infection rate. This difference was not statistically significant with a P value of ≥0.5. Conclusion: The use of a dexamethasone-eluting intracochlear electrode array did not increase the risk of meningitis in rats when inoculated with S. pneumoniae via the middle ear 5 days following implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-207
Number of pages7
JournalCochlear implants international
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cochlear implant
  • Corticosteroid
  • Dexamethasone
  • Drug delivery
  • Meningitis
  • Rat
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae


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