n South African Journal of Child Health - Mastoiditis at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, Cape Town, 1999 - 2003

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1994-3032
  • E-ISSN: 1999-7671



During the 5-year period 1999 - 2003, we treated 36 children with a clinical diagnosis of mastoiditis. Post-auricular tenderness, swelling or abscess was the presenting feature in all cases. Twenty of these children had acute mastoiditis, 12 had acute-onchronic mastoiditis and 4 had a post-auricular abscess and no signs of mastoiditis on mastoid exploration (pseudomastoiditis). No pathogenic organisms were cultured from 25% of cases overall, but among those with positive culture and were the commonest organisms in the acute mastoiditis group and was the commonest in the acute-on-chronic group.

In the acute mastoiditis group (20 patients) only 1 patient was successfully treated with antibiotics, the rest requiring cortical mastoidectomy.
In the acute-on-chronic mastoiditis group (12 patients) 9 children had cholesteatoma and underwent an open cavity procedure and the other 3, who underwent cortical mastoidectomy, all had positive histology / culture for tuberculosis.

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