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Necrotizing Otitis Externa: A Systematic Review and Analysis of Changing Trends.

Otology & Neurotology 2020 September
OBJECTIVE: To assess for changes in trends of the disease process, management, and outcomes of necrotizing otitis externa (NOE) over the last decade.

DATA SOURCES: Articles in English, published between January 2011 and June 2019, were searched in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, and the Cochrane Database.

STUDY SELECTION: Inclusion criteria: 1) reported evidence of NOE, 2) details on patient demographic and underlying medical disorder, 3) details on treatments, 4) documented outcomes, and 5) greater than 10 cases.

DATA EXTRACTION: Study demographics, underlying conditions, infectious etiology, treatments, signs and symptoms, and outcomes.

DATA SYNTHESIS: Ten studies, totalling 284 patients with a mean age of 67.8 years, were included. The time period of collected patient data ranged from 2000 to 2018. Temporal subgroup analysis was conducted before and after 2009. Cure rate was lower in the post-2009 group (76.0 versus 94.1%, p < 0.01) while disease-specific mortality remained stable. Increases in proportions of diabetes and culture negative results (p < 0.01) were also observed in this latter group. Rate of extensive surgery and the use of ciprofloxacin decreased (p < 0.01), while the use of ceftazidime increased in the post-2009 group (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: A decrease in cure rate of NOE patients was observed in the setting of an increase in prevalence of diabetes. Various antipseudomonal agents are being used and an increase in culture negative results is seen.

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