Saline irrigation in the prevention of otorrhea after tympanostomy tube placement.Laryngoscope 2000; 110(2 Pt 1):246-9L
Comparison of intraoperative saline irrigation to otic drops in the prevention of postoperative otorrhea in children with middle ear effusion undergoing bilateral myringotomy with ventilation tubes.
This study was designed as a blinded, controlled, prospectively randomized trial.
Study children were randomly assigned to receive either otic drops for 3 days postoperatively or saline irrigation of the middle ear space at the time of myringotomy. Only children with effusion present at the time of surgery were included. All children were evaluated for drainage 7 to 14 days postoperatively, and the degree of drainage was graded from 0 to 4.
Of the 84 patients entered into the study, 62 patients were eligible for data analysis (16 failed follow-up, 6 records were lost). Of the patients who completed the study, not all had bilateral effusions, resulting in 111 ears for inclusion in the study. Fifty-two ears underwent irrigation, and 10 were noted to have otorrhea (19.2%). Fifty-nine ears received otic drops, resulting in 21 ears with otorrhea (35.6%). Evaluating the degree of otorrhea with a five-point Leichert scale, the average score per ear was 0.42 for the saline irrigation group and 1.07 for the control group. The rate and degree of drainage were both statistically reduced in the saline irrigation group (P < .05).
Using middle ear irrigation at the time of tympanostomy may be more effective than antibiotic drops in preventing postoperative otorrhea.