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Do oral steroids improve hearing outcomes in children with otitis media with effusion?
  1. Alexandra Hughes,
  2. Teck Khong, DTB Associate Editor
  1. Clinical Pharmacology, St George's, University of London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Teck Khong, Clinical Pharmacology, University of London, London, UK; tkhong{at}sgul.ac.uk

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Commentary on: Francis NA, Cannings-John R, Waldron CA, et al. Oral steroids for resolution of otitis media with effusion in children (OSTRICH): a double-blinded, placebo-controlled randomised trial. Lancet 2018; 392: 557–568.

Commentary by: Dr Alexandra Hughes and Dr Teck Khong Clinical Pharmacology, St George's, University of London, London, UK.

Series Editor: Dr Teck Khong, DTB Associate Editor Clinical Pharmacology, St George's, University of London, London, UK.

Key learning points

  • Although corticosteroids have been proposed to accelerate the resolution of otitis media with effusion (OME), there is limited evidence to support their use in routine management.

  • This study indicated that a 7-day course of an oral corticosteroid did not improve hearing in children aged 2–8 years with OME that had lasted longer than 3 months and bilateral hearing loss compared with placebo.

  • Active observation is recommended in the management for OME with hearing loss in children.

Summary

The oral steroids for resolution of otitis media with effusion in children (OSTRICH) trial found that, in children with otitis media with effusion (OME) lasting longer than 3 months and confirmed bilateral hearing loss, the absolute increase of 7% in the proportion of children with acceptable hearing at 5 weeks …

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