Pediatric acute otitis externa: Characteristics and predictors for hospital admission

Maayan Gruber, Danny Damry, Nur Ibrahim, Daniel Glikman, Ohad Ronen

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Background: Acute otitis externa (AOE), is a common infectious disease affecting children and adults. Its peak prevalence is around the summer months, it involves the external auditory canal and in most cases is due to bacterial agents. Methods: This is a retrospective observational analytical case-based study involving all consecutive patients under the age of 18 years old presenting with AOE to a pediatric emergency department. Results: We collected data from 337 patients under 18 years of age with 344 visits to the Emergency Department, between the years 2011–2018. Nearly half of the visits presented during the summer months. Children were divided into two subgroups: hospitalized and non-hospitalized. Median hospitalization time was 3 days. The hospitalized sub-group had higher rates of failed treatment, as well as higher rates of external ear canal edema, systemic fever, canal discharge and auricular edema. On multivariable analysis the following variables had the strongest correlation for hospital admission: auricular edema (OR 27.98), otorrhea (OR 1.82), narrowing of the ear canal by more than 50% (OR 1.91), fever (OR 2.92), and previous systemic treatment (OR 2.53). Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) was isolated in 78% of cultures in the hospitalized sub-group. All PA strains were sensitive to ciprofloxacin. Conclusions: This study highlights the main clinical variables which may predict hospitalization among children with AOE as well as the dominant role of sensitive strains of PA in the pathogenesis of this condition in children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110534
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2020


  • Acute otitis externa
  • Hospital admission
  • Pediatric
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa


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