Predictors of Surgical Site Infection in Pediatric Cochlear Implantation

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2023 Mar;168(3):484-490. doi: 10.1177/01945998221104933. Epub 2023 Jan 19.


Objective: To determine risk factors for surgical site infection (SSI) after cochlear implantation (CI) in pediatric patients.

Study design: Case-control study.

Setting: A total of 150 hospitals contributing data to the ACS-NSQIP Pediatric database (American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program) in North America and worldwide.

Methods: Pediatric patients (aged <18 years) undergoing CI during the years 2012 to 2017 were identified in the ACS-NSQIP Pediatric database. Uni- and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to determine the odds ratios (ORs) of SSI (including superficial incisional, deep incisional, organ/space) occurring up to 30 days postoperatively.

Results: A total of 79 SSIs occurred over a 5-year period (n = 5146). Longer operative time significantly increased the odds of SSI (OR, 1.965; 95% CI, 1.205-3.289). Younger age was also found to raise the odds of SSI, with decreased odds associated with each 6-month increase in age (OR, 0.887; 95% CI, 0.814-0.958).

Conclusion: Longer operative time and younger age appear to significantly increase the odds of SSI in pediatric CI. Body mass index, recent steroid use, American Society of Anesthesiologists class, bilateral vs unilateral implantation, and hospital length of stay do not appear to significantly influence SSI risk. These findings must be interpreted in the context of the limitations inherent to adverse events reporting, which are mitigated by the stringent manner of data collection by the ACS-NSQIP, and those inherent to the definition of SSI. Future prospective studies should investigate the impact of reducing operative time on the risk of SSI and other complications in pediatric CI.

Keywords: CI; NSQIP; SSI; cochlear implant; infection; pediatric.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Cochlear Implantation* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surgical Wound Infection* / epidemiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection* / etiology