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Prophylactic antibiotic drops after tympanostomy tube placement.

Author(s): Hester TO, Jones RO, Archer SM, Haydon RC

Affiliation(s): Department of Surgery, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, USA.

Publication date & source: 1995-04, Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg., 121(4):445-8.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of prophylactic polymyxin B sulfate-neomycin sulfate-hydrocortisone drops in decreasing the incidence of posttympanostomy otorrhea. DESIGN: Prospective randomized controlled study. SETTING: University referral center. PATIENTS: Three hundred patients undergoing tympanostomy tube placement (including those undergoing tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, or both) were randomized into three groups. INTERVENTION: The use of polymyxin B-neomycin-hydrocortisone drops. Patients in group 1 received no antibiotic drops; group 2, a single dose intraoperatively, and group 3, an intraoperative dose followed by a 5-day course. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Posttympanostomy otorrhea. RESULTS: A statistically significant decrease was observed in the incidence of posttympanostomy otorrhea between the control (16.4%) and treatment groups (group 2, 8.3%; group 3, 8.1%) (P = .011). A single dose of antibiotics was effective when patients' middle ears were dry or had serous effusions. A 5-day course was indicated for those whose ears had mucoid or purulent contents. CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotic ear drops are indicated in all patients. A single dose is as effective as a 5-day course, but our data support a longer course in certain subgroups.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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