Acute mastoiditis: A 10 year retrospective study

V. Tarantino, R. D'Agostino, G. Taborelli, A. Melagrana, A. Porcu, M. Stura

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This retrospective study reviews our experience in the management of acute otomastoiditis over 10 years. During the study period we identified 40 cases in children aged 3 months-15 years with a peak incidence in the second year of life. Sixty per cent of them had a history of acute otitis media (AOM). All the children were already receiving oral antibiotic therapy. Otalgia, fever, poor feeding and vomiting were the most common symptoms, all the children had evidence of retroauricolar inflammation. Computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were used to support the diagnosis and to evaluate possible complications. Streptococcus pneumoniae was the most common isolated bacterium. All the patients received intravenous antibiotics, 65% of children received only medical treatment, 35% also underwent surgical intervention. Mean length of hospital stay was 12.3 days. Cholesteathoma was diagnosed in one child. We conclude from our study that acute otomastoiditis is a disease mainly affecting young children, that develops from AOM resistant to oral antibiotics. Adequate initial management always requires intravenous antibiotics, conservative surgical treatment with miryngotomy is appropriate in children not responding within 48 h from beginning of therapy. Mastoidectomy should be performed in all the patients with acute coalescent mastoiditis or in case of evidence of intracranial complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 11 2002


  • Acute mastoiditis
  • Acute suppurative otitis media
  • Children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Surgery


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