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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.
The temporal bone may be the first involved site in cases of systemic disease, and may even present with acute, mastoiditis-like symptomatology. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence of such non-infectious ‘acute mastoiditis’ in children.
Materials and methods:
Retrospective chart review of 73 children admitted to a tertiary referral centre for acute mastoiditis.
In 71 cases (97.3 per cent), an infectious basis was identified. In the majority of cases (33 of 73; 45 per cent), the responsible bacteria was Streptococcus pneumoniae. However, histopathological studies revealed a non-infectious underlying disease (myelocytic leukaemia or Langerhans' cell histiocytosis) in two atypical cases (2.7 per cent).
‘Acute mastoiditis’ of non-infectious aetiology is a rare but real threat for children, and a challenging diagnosis for otologists. A non-infectious basis should be suspected in every atypical, persistent or recurrent case of acute mastoiditis.
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