Oct 2018 Dove Medical Press
Purpose: Cochlear implants are widely used for hearing rehabilitation of deaf children with congenital deafness or adults with acquired severe-to-profound hearing loss. The sound processor antenna creates a radio frequency-electromagnetic field transmitting the sound signal to the implant, similar to that in a mobile phone. A recent case report suggested a relationship between cochlear implants and malignant glioma, and some epidemiological studies have suggested an increased glioma and acoustic neuroma risk associated with long hours of mobile phone use. An epidemiological study is warranted to evaluate such a relationship in patients with cochlear implants.
Patients and methods: To examine whether this chronic radio frequency-electromagnetic field signaling is associated with an increased brain tumour risk, a population-based cohort study was performed examining all 2,748 patients receiving a cochlear implant in Sweden during the years 1989–2014. In all, 3,169 surgeries were performed in the total cohort. The expected occurrence of glioma, meningioma, and acoustic neuroma in the patient cohort was calculated using specific national incidence rates in the Swedish population