Complications of Otitis Media before Placement of Tympanostomy Tubes in Children

Deborah S.F. Kacmarynski, Samuel C. Levine, Susan E. Pearson, Robert H. Maisel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objectives: To report the incidence of short-term complications from otitis media in children before placement of tympanostomy tubes (TTs) and to compare children treated according to the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research guidelines with those who were treated earlier or later than recommended. Design: Retrospective outcomes review. Patients: Subjects were children aged 10 or younger who had TTs inserted at a tertiary care county hospital from January 1, 1999, to December 31, 2000. Exclusion criteria included prior TT placement, any concurrent head and neck procedure, and craniofacial defects. Intervention: Tympanostomy tube placement. Main Outcome Measures: Any occurrences of otorrhea, tympanic membrane perforation, tinnitus, antibiotic reactions, speech or language delay, febrile seizures, or meningitis before placement of TTs documented in the county hospital records were recorded as complications. Hearing loss was considered separately. Results: Of 147 children who met our criteria, 81 (55.1%) had 1 or more complications from otitis media before placement of TTs. Fifty-five (37.4%) had 2 to 6 complications documented. Adverse reactions to antibiotics were the most common complication, reported in 34 (23.1%). Conclusions: Most children in this county hospital experienced short-term complications of otitis media before receiving TTs. Even the children treated "on time" according to the guidelines from the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research experienced complications; however, adherence to the guidelines had no significant effect on complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-292
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004


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