Acute Mastoiditis in Infants and Children

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69 Scopus citations


During a 25-year period, 57 cases of acute mastoiditis occurred in infants and young children who ranged in age from 2 months to 12 years of age. All patients had abnormalities of the tympanic membrane and most had fever and localized edema and redness of the overlying skin. Fifty per cent of the infants who were less than one year of age had swelling primarily above the involved ear pushing the pinna out and down. By contrast, older children had swelling of the skin overlying the mastoid process which produced the classical finding of an elevated earlobe. Mastoid roentgenograms were a useful adjunct to diagnosis, revealing concurrent osteomyelitis in 9 patients. A diagnosis of specific bac terial etiology was made in 80 per cent of the patients in whom cultures were performed. Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes were the bacteria most frequently isolated. Unusual manifestations or serious complications occurred in 53 per cent of the patients, including one death (due to meningitis). These data indicate that the frequency of serious complications from acute mastoiditis has not declined over the past 3 decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-553
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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