Acute otitis media with spontaneous tympanic membrane perforation

N. Principi, P. Marchisio, C. Rosazza, C. S. Sciarrabba, S. Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The principal aim of this review is to present the current knowledge regarding acute otitis media (AOM) with spontaneous tympanic membrane perforation (STMP) and to address the question of whether AOM with STMP is a disease with specific characteristics or a severe case of AOM. PubMed was used to search for all studies published over the past 15 years using the key words “acute otitis media” and “othorrea” or “spontaneous tympanic membrane perforation”. More than 250 articles were found, but only those published in English and providing data on aspects related to perforation of infectious origin were considered. Early Streptococcus pneumoniae infection due to invasive pneumococcal strains, in addition to coinfections and biofilm production due mainly to non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae, seem to be precursors of STMP. However, it is unclear why some children have several STMP episodes during the first years of life that resolve without complications in adulthood, whereas other children develop chronic suppurative otitis media. Although specific aetiological agents appear to be associated with an increased risk of AOM with STMP, further studies are needed to determine whether AOM with STMP is a distinct disease with specific aetiological, clinical and prognostic characteristics or a more severe case of AOM than the cases that occur without STMP. Finally, it is important to identify preventive methods that are useful not only in otitis-prone children with uncomplicated AOM, but also in children with recurrent AOM and those who experience several episodes with STMP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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