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Ofloxacin otic drops vs neomycin-polymyxin B otic drops as prophylaxis against early postoperative tympanostomy tube otorrhea.

Author(s): Poetker DM, Lindstrom DR, Patel NJ, Conley SF, Flanary VA, Link TR, Kerschner JE

Affiliation(s): Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA.

Publication date & source: 2006-12, Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg., 132(12):1294-8.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the incidence of tympanostomy tube (TT) sequelae, tube otorrhea, and tube obstruction immediately postoperatively in patients receiving TT for otitis media and to compare patients receiving postoperative otic drops with controls. DESIGN: Blinded randomized control trial. SETTING: A tertiary pediatric otolaryngology practice. SUBJECTS: The study population comprised 306 patients undergoing TT placement. INTERVENTIONS: The 306 patients were enrolled into the following 3 groups: (1) those receiving no postoperative otic drop prophylaxis (control group), (2) those receiving ofloxacin otic drops (FLOX group), and (3) those receiving neomycin sulfate-polymyxin B sulfate-hydrocortisone otic drops (COS group). RESULTS: Overall otorrhea rates postoperatively were 14.9% for the control group, 8.1% for the FLOX group, and 5.5% for the COS group. When controlling for disease severity, the rate of otorrhea was significantly higher for the control group than for both the FLOX (P = .04) and COS (P = .01) groups. Nonpatent, plugged, tube rates were added to otorrhea rates for a TT failure analysis postoperatively. The control group demonstrated a significantly greater failure rate (29.9%) than both the FLOX (12.1%) and COS (7.7%) groups. The only differences between the patients in the 2 groups receiving drops were that ofloxacin was more well liked by patients (P = .04) and caused less pain (P = .004). CONCLUSIONS: Nonpatency and otorrhea are the most frequent sequelae immediately following TT placement. Few studies have compared different treatment regimens in a randomized controlled trial. These results demonstrate that otic drops clearly provide benefit postoperatively in preventing TT plugging and otorrhea but primarily in patients who have middle ear fluid at the time of TT placement. In addition, consideration of drop choice should be based on patient tolerance and medication safety profiles.

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