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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1995 Dec;14(12):1068-74.

Randomized trial of the efficacy of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and prednisone in preventing post-tympanostomy tube morbidity.

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  • 1Otitis Media Research Center, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


This study was designed to determine whether treatment with prednisone and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole would reduce first year post-operative morbidity in children with chronic otitis media with effusion undergoing tympanostomy tube insertion (intubation). Eighty children ages 6 months to 8 years were enrolled at intubation and randomized from age strata to receive active drugs or placebos for 14 days after surgery. They were examined with pneumatic otoscopy and tympanometry preoperatively and at 3 weeks and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after surgery. Active drug treatment significantly reduced tube obstruction or extrusion in the first 3 postoperative months compared with placebos (4% vs. 17%, P = .01). However, rates of repeat intubation, otorrhea and recurrence of otitis media did not differ significantly in the two groups. Children with chronic otitis media with effusion treated with intubation may benefit from a 2-week course of prednisone and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole at the time of surgery. However, there is no apparent long term benefit of this treatment.

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