Cochlear implant magnet displacement with minor head trauma

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005 Aug;133(2):275-7. doi: 10.1016/j.otohns.2005.02.018.


Objectives: Manufacturers have introduced cochlear implants (CIs) with removable magnets to allow for magnetic resonance imaging after placement. The purpose of this study was to describe magnet displacement as a new CI complication and to suggest a possible treatment option to prevent its recurrence.

Study design: Retrospective case series.

Methods: The records of 3 young males who experienced CI magnet dislodgement were reviewed and compared against records from the institutional implant database.

Results: Magnet displacement was observed only in young males (14% of male children) who received CI with removable magnets. This occurred 13-14 months after CI placement. Magnets were replaced under general anesthesia, and the scalp was bolstered with a dermal allograft. Recurrent magnet dislodgement was encountered in 1 patient, 6 months later.

Conclusions: Magnet displacement may be a relatively common complication after minor head trauma in pediatric patients with certain CIs that have removable magnets.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cochlear Implantation / adverse effects
  • Cochlear Implantation / methods*
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / complications*
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Magnetics
  • Male
  • Prosthesis Failure*
  • Registries
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Treatment Outcome