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COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Prospective double blind randomized clinical trial comparing 75% versus 95% silver nitrate cauterization in the management of idiopathic childhood epistaxis

F Glynn, M Amin, P Sheahan, D Mc Shane
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2011, 75 (1): 81-4
21093066

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS:

PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE: to evaluate which concentration of silver nitrate cauterization was more efficacious in the management of idiopathic childhood epistaxis.

SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: to evaluate side effects and pain scores of the differing concentrations.

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective double blind randomized clinical trial.

PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: All children 16 years of age or younger referred by the accident and emergency department or general practitioner, with recurrent idiopathic epistaxis, who met the inclusion criteria entered the trial. Patients were randomized to receive either the 75% or 95% silver nitrate cauterization. Patients were reviewed at two weeks and eight weeks post cauterization. Pain scores, side effects and success of each treatments were recorded at the follow up clinic.

RESULTS: 101 patients completed the trial. 52 patients were randomized to receive the 95% concentration, and 49 patients were randomized to receive the 75% cauterization. In the 75% concentration group, 98% of patients had total resolution of their symptoms at the eight-week follow up. Mean pain scores in this group was 1 out of 10. In the 95% group, 90% had total resolution of their symptoms at the eight-week follow up. Mean pain scores in this group was 5 out of 10. There was a statistical difference in efficacy and pain scores (0.01 and 0.001).

CONCLUSION: We would recommend the use of 75% silver nitrate cauterization in the management of childhood epistaxis, it appears to be more efficacious, has fewer side effects and is better tolerated.

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