Background and Objectives: Otitis media (OM) is one of the most common reasons for antibiotic treatment in children. Controversies regarding antibiotic treatment for OM have accumulated in the past decade, and there seem to be more dilemmas than certainties. The objectives of this article are to provide the state-of-the art review on achievements in treatment of all different stages of OM, including acute otitis media (AOM), otitis media with effusion (OME), and chronic suppurative otitis media, and to outline the future research areas. Data Sources. PubMed, Ovid Medline, the Cochrane Database, and Clinical Evidence (BMJ Publishing).
Review Methods: All types of articles related to OM treatment published in English between January 2007 and June 2011 were identified. A total of 286 articles related to OM treatment were reviewed by the panel members; 114 relevant quality articles were identified and summarized.
Results: New evidence emerged on beneficial results of antibiotic treatment, compared with observation of AOM in young children who were diagnosed based on stringent criteria. In OME, the main results were related to a nonsignificant benefit of adenoidectomy versus tympanostomy tube placement alone in the treatment of chronic OME in younger children. Other modalities of OM treatment were studied and described herein.
Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Significant progress has been made in advancing the knowledge on the treatment of OM. Areas of potential future research have been identified and outlined.