Objectives: Acute mastoiditis (AM) is the most common intratemporal complication of acute otitis media in children. In the past decade, reports have indicated a rise in the incidence of AM in the pediatric population. A parallel rise in the use of computed tomography (CT) imaging has occurred. The rise in the use of CT scanning in the pediatric population, entraining with it a rise in pediatric brain irradiation, has led us to question the necessity of using CT for pediatric patients with AM. Methods: We reviewed the medical files of pediatric patients who had AM in the years 2005 through 2007. Results: Fifty patients were identified. The gender distribution was equal, and the ages ranged from 4 months to 12 years. Of the 46 patients who were admitted to our institution "de novo," only 2 underwent CT scanning on admission, and 4 other patients had CT performed during hospitalization. The majority of patients (92%) with AM did not have a CT scan performed and were treated conservatively with no complications. Conclusions: In most pediatric patients, CT does not seem to be indispensable in the diagnosis of AM. Conservative therapy and close follow-up seem to suffice for most.
- Middle ear infection
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