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Surgical intervention for acute mastoiditis: 10 years experience in a tertiary children hospital.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the clinical course of children with acute mastoiditis (AM) who required surgical intervention.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Clinical and biochemical characteristics at the moment of hospital admission were reviewed for patients who required surgery for AM. Children who were successfully managed conservatively during the last 3 years of study were chosen as a comparison group.

RESULTS: During 2008-2017, 570 children were admitted with AM: 82(14%) underwent cortical mastoidectomy, including 31(38%) with decompression of epidural space and sigmoid sinus. The comparison group consisted of 167 children with AM who did not require surgery. The surgical group had a higher rate of acute otitis media before admission. At the time of hospital admission, the surgical group had a higher rate of prolonged fever, otorrhea, and sub-periosteal abscess. Their average temperature, WBC, neutrophil count, and CRP were significantly higher (39.2 vs. 37.9°. C, 20 K vs. 16.5 K, 67 vs. 55.8 percent, 17 vs. 8.8, respectively, p = 0.0001). Fusobacterium necrophorum was the most common pathogen in the surgical group (50%), and group A streptococcus in the comparison group (22%). Sub-periosteal abscess, sinus venous thrombosis, and epidural involvement were diagnosed in 95, 35, and 38 percent of patients, respectively. Average length of IV antibiotic treatment was 20 days in operated children, compared to 5.6 days in the comparison group (p = 0.0001). Since 2013, a significantly higher percentage of children were diagnosed with Fusobacterium mastoiditis (p = 0.0001) who required surgery (p = 0.008).

CONCLUSION: In children with AM presenting with, high fever, leukocytosis, elevated CRP, and sub-periosteal abscess, early CT and surgical intervention were frequently required. The increase in Fusobacterium infection might be an explanation for the increase in complicated AM requiring surgery.

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