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Open Access Research article

Acute mastoiditis: A one year study in the pediatric hospital of Cairo university

Mosaad Abdel-Aziz* and Hassan El-Hoshy

Author Affiliations

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

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BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders 2010, 10:1  doi:10.1186/1472-6815-10-1

Published: 4 January 2010



Acute mastoiditis is a serious complication of acute otitis media especially in the pediatric age group. This study reports the authors' experience in the treatment of children admitted with acute mastoiditis to the Pediatric Hospital of Cairo University throughout the year 2007, also we aimed to evaluate our current management of this serious disease.


Nineteen children were included in this study, 11 females and 8 males, their ages ranged from 9 months to 11 years. All children were treated with intravenous antibiotic on initial admission, myringotomy was considered for cases that did not respond to medical treatment for 48 hours, while cortical mastoidectomy (with myringotomy) was reserved for cases that presented initially with subperiosteal abscess with or without post-auricular fistula, cases with intracranial complications and for cases that showed no response to myringotomy (after 48 hours). Follow up of the patients was carried out for at least 1 year.


Medical management alone was enough in 5 cases (26%); all of them had erythematous tender mastoid on first presentation. Seven cases (37%) needed myringotomy; 2 of them showed no response and they needed cortical mastoidectomy and the other 5 cases responded well except for 1 case that developed post-auricular subperiosteal abscess 2 months later necessitating cortical mastoidectomy with no evidence of recurrence till the end of the follow-up period. Seven cases (37%) presented with subperiosteal abscess and they needed cortical mastoidectomy with myringotomy; they showed no recurrence till the end of the study.


Conservative management is an effective method in the treatment of non-complicated acute mastoiditis, but myringotomy should be considered if there is no response within 48 hours. Cortical mastoidectomy should be used in conjunction with the medical management in the treatment of complicated cases.