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Submitted: 22 October 2012
HERDIN Record #: R04A-DLSHSI-12102210283523

How long does it take for eardrum perforations to close?: A 20 year review of acute and chronic otitis media cases.

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OBJECTIVES: To compare acute and chronic otitis media in terms of the lengths of time for closure of a perforated tympanic membrane and to identify prognostic factors affecting healing.
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DESIGN: Retrospective Cohort.
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SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: All patients seen in the out-patient clinic of a tertiary hospital with perforated tympanic membranes secondary to otitis media excluding those with cholesteatoma, craniofacial abnormalities, and previous ear surgery.
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MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Closure of the perforation.
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RESULTS: Majority of patients in the AOM group experienced healing where as a lesser number of patients in the COM group experienced healing. The mean healing time for patients with AOM is 1.7 (SD 0.476) months and for COM is 126.07 (SD 12.621) months. The median time for complete healing of the tympanic membrane was 0.821 months for patients with AOM and 149.6 months for patients with COM. Only the presence of other health problems was found to influence healing significantly in both groups (AOM p value of 0.012 and COM p value of 0.036). Other possible determinants of healing like age, gender, bilaterality of disease, and perforation characteristics were not statistically significant in both groups.
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CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION: Patients with new eardrum perforations heal faster than those with long-standing perforations. The individual contributions of potential risk factors affecting healing needs to be further investigated.

Objectives

To compare acute and chronic otitis media in terms of the lengths of time for closure of a perforated tympanic membrane and to identify prognostic factors affecting healing.

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