CLINICAL TRIAL
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Use of steroids in the treatment of peritonsillar abscess.

Peritonsillar abscess is the most common deep infection of the head and neck that occurs in adults; the treatment of the disease remains controversial. A prospective study using a single high dose steroid treatment for peritonsillar abscess, was undertaken in 62 patients to determine the treatment's effectiveness in relieving symptoms such as fever, throat pain, dysphagia and trismus. All patients were randomly assigned to two groups: 28 patients received intravenous antibiotic therapy and a single dose placebo and 34 patients were treated with single use of high dose steroid in addition to intravenous antibiotic. Patients were hospitalized after needle aspiration and therefore their clinical courses and responses to therapy could be rigorously assessed. Comparison of clinical outcomes with respect to hours hospitalized, throat pain, fever, trismus were assessed between the two groups. Clinical outcomes revealed a statistically significant difference between the two groups (p < 0.01), indicating that single use of high dose steroid prior to antibiotic therapy is more effective than the use of an antibiotic alone. These results suggest that single intravenous use of steroid in addition to antibiotic therapy is an excellent choice for the management of peritonsillar abscess.

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