CONCLUSION: A set of methods for evaluating changes in salivary secretion and sense of taste following cochlear implantation (CI) was applied and tested. No association between implantation and objectively assessed sense of taste was found. However, a statistically significant decrease in non-stimulated salivary flow on the day after surgery was found.
OBJECTIVES: To develop and test a research method describing the course of changes in salivary secretion and sense of taste following CI.
METHODS: This was a longitudinal study examining 13 patients undergoing CI at Odense University Hospital in 2012. Questionnaires, sialometry and gustatory testing were applied.
RESULTS: A general postoperative decrease in salivary secretion could not be found. However, a 29.9% mean reduction in non-stimulated salivary flow was observed when looking specifically at the visit the day after surgery (p = 0.001). When adjusting for perioperative administration of glycopyrrolate (p < 0.001) and atropine (p = 0.178), the former was highly associated with a 69.7% mean decrease in non-stimulated salivary flow at the visit the day after surgery. The third examination was still, independent of glycopyrrolate administration, borderline significantly associated with a 14.5% mean decrease (p = 0.054). We did not find any significant decrease in sense of taste following implantation.