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To evaluate the management of mastoid subperiosteal abscess using two different surgical approaches: simple mastoidectomy and abscess drainage.
The medical records of 34 children suffering from acute mastoiditis with subperiosteal abscess were retrospectively reviewed. In these cases, the initial surgical approach consisted of either myringotomy plus simple mastoidectomy or myringotomy plus abscess drainage.
Thirteen children were managed with simple mastoidectomy and 21 children were initially managed with abscess drainage. Of the second group, 12 children were cured without further treatment while 9 eventually required mastoidectomy. None of the children developed complications during hospitalisation, or long-term sequelae.
Simple mastoidectomy remains the most effective procedure for the management of mastoid subperiosteal abscess. Drainage of the abscess represents a simple and risk-free, but not always curative, option. It can be safely used as an initial, conservative approach in association with myringotomy and sufficient antibiotic coverage, with simple mastoidectomy reserved for non-responding cases.
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