A Novel Diagnostic and Treatment Algorithm for Acute Mastoiditis in Children Based on 109 Cases


Acute mastoiditis (AM) is a potentially life-threatening condition primarily affecting children. To date, there are no consistent criteria or valid guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric AM. Therefore, this study evaluates the clinical course of AM in terms of clinical signs and treatment. In addition, a novel classification scheme for the disease and a treatment algorithm is being proposed.

Patient records over a 12-year period from a single center were reviewed to identify confirmed cases of AM in children. Data collected included clinical signs, body temperature, and infection parameters during the disease, as well as radiological imaging, antibiotics, and surgical as well as conservative treatment. In addition, a classification of the AM stages was established in accordance with the findings described and practical experience, consisting of four stages (1, mastoidal irritation; 2, mild AM; 3, advanced AM; 4, advanced AM and additional complications) with corresponding treatment recommendations. In the retrospective cohort, those AM cases that were treated alongside the classification were compared with the rest concerning clinical course and outcome.

A total of 109 patients (mean age, 3.8 ± 3.8 years) were included. The main symptoms at hospital admission were auricular protrusion (n = 73; 67.0%), fever (n = 56; 51.4%) with a mean temperature of 38.3 ± 1.1°C, and otalgia (n = 28; 25.7%). The mean laboratory-tested levels of leukocytes and C-reactive protein at the time of hospital admission were 15.96 ± 8.7/nl and 59.6 ± 54.0 mg/L, respectively. During winter, there was a higher prevalence of AM, with peak hospital admissions in April (n = 22). The most common pathogen was Streptococcus pyogenes (32 cases). Treatment was purely conservative in four cases, whereas the remaining cases underwent surgery (41× grommet insertion, 64× plus mastoidectomy). The outcome was generally good, but in eight patients a second surgical procedure had to be performed as they showed signs of clinical deterioration. A total of 101 patients were treated according to the proposed algorithm, and all of which had a good outcome without the need for further interventions.

Based on clinical experience in a large cohort of pediatric AM patients, a novel diagnostic and treatment algorithm has been developed and successfully tested in a retrospective cohort for AM in children to prevent further complications and to ease its management by pediatricians and otorhinolaryngologists in the emergency setting.

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StatusVeröffentlicht - 01.03.2024