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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1998 Sep 15;45(1):21-9.

Acute mastoidectomy in a Danish county from 1977 to 1996 with focus on the bacteriology.

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The Ear, Nose and Throat Department, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.


To evaluate if the nature of acute mastoiditis (AM) treated surgically has changed during the last 20 years (1977-1996), the data from patients undergoing acute mastoidectomy were examined retrospectively. Cases with cholesteatomas and intracranial complications were excluded, while 79 patients (48% male) with a median age of 16 months were included. There was a history of infectious middle ear disease in 37% and the mean duration from onset of symptoms to admission was 9 days. The well-being was affected in 46 and 82% had fever. Purulent middle ear effusion was recognized in 92%. A subperiosteal abscess in 66% of the ears peroperatively. Specimens yielded growth of pathogens in 58%, predominantly gram positive bacteria, fully or partially sensitive to penicillin. Antimicrobial treatment before admittance masked or reduced more symptoms significantly. The patients from the last 10-year-period had less frequently acute otitis media in their history, shorter duration of hospitalization, and more frequently haemolytic Streptococcus group A. Conclusively, AM affects especially infants without previous middle ear disease. The clinical picture has become more subtle in time, probably due to antibiotics, and concomitantly the bacteriological pattern has changed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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