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How Many More Treatment Trials in Otitis Media?

Gunnar B. Stickler, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1973;125(3):403. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1973.04160030069013.
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One of our residents asked recently whether there really is anything new to be written about the treatment of otitis media. I am beginning to share the skepticism that prompted this resident's question, but the study by Bass and associates in this issue emphasizes the need to reiterate: there is little evidence that those antimicrobial agents which hypothetically or in vitro are more effective in controlling Hemophilus influenzae are superior in the treatment of otitis when compared to penicillin alone. All of us should have read the great doctoral thesis by Ragnar D. Rudberg1 written almost 20 years ago and rediscovered by Laxdal et al2 in 1970. He studied 1,365 episodes of acute otitis media, obtained cultures in all, and compared the results of treatment in five groups: those patients receiving no chemotherapeutic drugs, those receiving sulfonamide tablets, those receiving penicillin tablets, those receiving a single injection of


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