Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Chronic otitis media with effusion (glue ear) and adenotonsillectomy: prospective randomised controlled study.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: (Published 26 November 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:1586
  1. A R Maw


    A prospective study was conducted of the effects of adenoidectomy and adenotonsillectomy on established otitis media with effusion unresponsive to medical treatment. The operations were performed at random with a controlled no surgery group on a cohort of 103 children with the condition and the results assessed six weeks, three months, six months, nine months, and one year later. After adenoidectomy the rate of resolution of the condition increased from 39% at six weeks to 72% at one year; and after adenotonsillectomy the rate increased from 59% at six weeks to 62% at one year. In the no surgery group the rate increased from 16% at six weeks to 26% at one year. Compared with the no surgery group the effect of adenoidectomy alone at one year was highly significant (p less than 0.001), and similarly the effect of adenotonsillectomy was significant (p less than 0.01). There was, however, no increased benefit from the addition of tonsillectomy compared with adenoidectomy alone. Thus there was resolution of 36-46% of chronic effusions as a result of adenoidectomy.