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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2000 Dec 1;56(2):129-34.

Prevention of acute mastoiditis: fact or fiction?

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Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital of Zurich, Frauenklinikstr. 24, CH-8091, Zurich, Switzerland.


Acute mastoiditis is the most common complication of acute otitis media (AOM). In recent years routine antibiotic treatment for acute middle ear infections was questioned and even abandoned in some countries. The goal of our study was to investigate the influence of antibiotic treatment on the occurrence and clinical outcome of acute mastoiditis and to analyze the bacteriological findings. A retrospective case record study of 48 patients with 50 episodes of acute mastoiditis hospitalized at our tertiary-care center between 1992 and 1999 was performed. Twenty-three patients (48%) received antibiotic treatment before admission whereas 25 (52%) did not. The group of patients without antibiotic pretreatment were younger (mean, 6 years) than patients with antibiotics (mean, 18 years) and their referral was delayed. The most common isolated single pathogen was Streptococcus pneumoniae. All pneumococci were sensitive to penicillin. Acute mastoiditis may be the first clinical sign of a middle ear infection, especially in very young children. Adequate antibiotic pretreatment cannot invariably prevent the development of acute mastoiditis even in the absence of penicillin resistant pathogens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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