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ASPO: Nasal Irrigation May Prevent Recurrent Otitis Media

Pilot study finds fewer acute otitis media episodes in children who receive regular saline irrigations

MONDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Regular nasal saline irrigation may be an effective way to prevent recurrent acute otitis media (rAOM) in children, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, held from April 30 to May 2 in Las Vegas.

Marie-France Stephenson, M.D., of the Université de Montréal, and colleagues conducted a pilot randomized controlled clinical trial of 29 pediatric patients with a history of rAOM. The patients were randomized into two groups, with one group receiving regular saline irrigations, and the other group not receiving any irrigations.

Of the 17 children randomized to the treatment group, the researchers found that 11 had no AOM, six had one episode of AOM, and none had more than one episode. Of the 12 patients randomized to the control group, four had no AOM and eight had at least one episode. Five of those eight had two episodes. The irrigation-treated group had a monthly AOM rate of 0.35, while the control group had a rate of 1.08.

"Saline irrigations are simple, low-cost and have few if any side effects. Our results suggest that nasal irrigations could effectively prevent rAOM. A larger scale randomized multicentric study is indicated to confirm external validity and to properly assess security issues," the authors write.

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