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Review: treatment with ventilation tubes has little effect in children with otitis media with effusion

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 Q In children with otitis media with effusion (OME), what is the effect of treatment with ventilation tubes and do specific risk groups benefit?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ Paediatrics ★★★★★☆☆


Embedded ImageData sources:

PubMed (1966–2004), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1973–2004), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Issue 1, 2003), and proceedings of international symposia on recent advances in otitis media.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing short term ventilation tubes with watchful waiting in children 0–12 years of age with persistent bilateral OME confirmed by tympanometry or otoscopy, or both. Studies were assessed for quality including randomisation and follow up.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

time spent with effusion (measured by tympanometry), hearing levels (measured by pure tone audiometry or age related hearing assessment), …

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  • For correspondence: Dr M M Rovers, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands. mrovers{at}

  • Source of funding: Dutch Health Care Insurance Board.