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Cholesteatoma surgery in children: 10-year retrospective review.

OBJECTIVE: To review outcomes following paediatric cholesteatoma surgery performed between 1999 and 2009 in a tertiary paediatric ENT unit.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case note review.

RESULTS: A total of 137 mastoid procedures were recorded. Fifty-four per cent of children were observed to have disease involving the entire middle-ear cleft and mastoid complex. The revision rate was 25 per cent. Time to recurrence was one to three years in 17 patients, three to six years in five patients, and six to nine years in three cases. Eight of 25 revision cases demonstrated spontaneous improvement in air conduction thresholds following primary surgery. A high facial ridge and inadequate meatoplasty correlated highly with disease recurrence.

CONCLUSION: Children tend to present with aggressive disease. Disease extent and ossicular chain involvement are associated with a higher risk of recurrent disease. Spontaneous improvement in hearing thresholds following cholesteatoma surgery should alert the clinician to recurrent disease.

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