Variability in Perioperative Steroid Therapy Regimen for Cochlear Implantation as It Relates to Hearing Preservation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Otology & neurotology : official publication of the American Otological Society, American Neurotology Society [and] European Academy of Otology and Neurotology








HYPOTHESIS: We aimed to identify practice trends and association between physician training and administration of perioperative steroids for cochlear implantation (CI) as it relates to hearing preservation. BACKGROUND: Perioperative steroid therapy regimens are postulated to protect residual hearing and improve hearing preservation outcomes in CI. METHODS: A 27-question online survey was developed by the senior authors using the Qualtrics Survey Tool, then distributed via email from September to November 2022 to otolaryngologists specializing in otology or neurotology and who practice in the United States or Canada. RESULTS: The survey was sent to 463 physicians, 162 (35.0%) of whom completed the survey. One hundred forty-four (31.1%) responses underwent analysis. All physicians administering preoperative steroids (n = 31) prefer preoperative oral prednisone. Of 143 physicians administering intraoperative steroids, 54.5% prefer intraoperative intravenous dexamethasone. More than half (77.6%) of 85 physicians administering postoperative steroids prefer postoperative oral prednisone. Postoperative steroid administration (p < 0.006) and taper utilization (p < 0.041) were greater among physicians who complete greater than 40 CIs annually (n = 47 [71.2%]; n = 30 [49.2%]) than physicians who complete up to 40 CIs annually (n = 37 [48.7%]; n = 20 [31.3%]), respectively. Physicians practicing for 5 to 20 years after residency are more prevalent in using postoperative steroid tapers than physicians practicing for fewer than 5 years after and more than 20 years after residency (n = 37 [51.4%] versus n = 14 [25.5%], p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Consensus is needed about the optimal steroid treatment for CI patients. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4.


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