Background and aims Subclinical evolution of otitis media (OM) in childhood predetermines late diagnostics and treatment, chronicity and complications. We compared incidence and clinic evolution of otitis media in children with recurrent somatic pathology and healthy children.
Methods We monitored middle ear status of children at the age between 1 and 7 years with recurrent respiratory pathology (Group R), recurrent gastrointestinal pathology (Group G), and healthy children (Group H) by tympanometry and otoscopy during 1 year. Complete audiological assessment and otomicroscopy were carried out in children who failed the screening tests during 3 months. Treatment approaches included medical and surgical methods and treatment of somatic pathology. Surgical findings in different groups were compared.
Results There were significant dependence of OM development and evolution from somatic pathology and age of children. OM chronicity rate was 35% in group R, 16% in group G and 4% in group H. Chronic and recurrent forms of OM correlated to respiratory tract infection-prone children, aged younger than 5 years of life. Chronic inflammatory changes of tympanic cavity were most evident in Group G.
Conclusions High rate of OM chronicity was predetermined by somatic pathology. These groups of patients needed comprehensive diagnostics and intensive treatment, including the surgical one. In healthy children OM was a relatively rare, temporary and benign condition. Middle ear monitoring is important for children with recurrent somatic pathology.