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J Laryngol Otol. 2012 Aug;126(8):825-9. doi: 10.1017/S002221511200117X.

Bilateral acute mastoiditis and subperiosteal abscesses in a child managed by simultaneous bilateral mastoid surgery.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Lauriston Building, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.



We report a case of bilateral acute mastoiditis and subperiosteal abscesses successfully managed with simultaneous surgery.


A case report and literature review are presented.


A two-year-old boy presented with fever, otalgia, otorrhoea and bilateral protruding ears. He was treated for 72 hours with intravenous antibiotics but failed to improve. Computed tomography confirmed bilateral mastoid abscesses with destruction of the mastoid cortex. Bilateral drainage of the subperiosteal abscesses and bilateral cortical mastoidectomies were carried out. Post-operatively, he recovered well, and free field audiometry showed a normal hearing threshold of 20 dB across all test frequencies.


This is only the second reported case of bilateral mastoiditis and subperiosteal abscesses. This case illustrates the use of bilateral cortical mastoidectomy in the successful management of this condition following failed antibiotic therapy, and highlights important management considerations.

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