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Otitis media in infants aged 0-8 weeks: frequency of associated serious bacterial disease. Pediatr Emerg Care 1999 Aug;15(4):252-4



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0032866183 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   19 Citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of serious bacterial infection in well appearing infants aged 0-8 weeks with isolated otitis media (OM).

METHODS: Infants with confirmed OM underwent tympanocentesis with middle ear fluid (MEF) culture and complete sepsis evaluation. Enrolled infants were admitted to the hospital for parenteral antibiotics until blood, urine, and CSF cultures were negative for 48 hours.

RESULTS: Forty non-toxic appearing infants were enrolled between January 1994 and April 1995, of whom 15 (38%) had a documented rectal temperature > or =38 degrees C. Bacterial pathogens were isolated from MEF cultures in 25 (62.5%) infants. All afebrile infants had negative blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid cultures (upper limit (UL) 95% CI 0.11). Only two febrile infants had positive cultures from sites other than the MEF (UL 95% CI 0.36).

CONCLUSION: In our study population, previously healthy, non-toxic appearing afebrile infants aged 2-8 weeks and having isolated OM infrequently have an associated serious bacterial infection, suggesting that outpatient treatment with oral antibiotics and close follow-up may be an option. Further studies with large numbers of infants are necessary to confirm this conclusion.

Author List

Nozicka CA, Hanly JG, Beste DJ, Conley SF, Hennes HM


David J. Beste MD Professor in the Otolaryngology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Administration, Oral
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Bacterial Infections
Body Fluids
Ear, Middle
Infant, Newborn
Otitis Media
Prospective Studies