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June 10, 1992

Secretory Otitis Media: The Cantekin Affair

Author Affiliations

Washington University St Louis, Mo
Boston (Mass) University

JAMA. 1992;267(22):3029-3030. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480220047022

To the Editor.  —The recent Editorial1 about "The Cantekin Affair" by Dr Rennie properly focuses on problems related to peer review and publication. However, by emphasizing the sensational and personal aspects rather than the science of the dispute, the Editorial confuses rather than clarifies the issues about the management of otitis media addressed in the article.2Antibiotic treatment of acute bacterial infection in the middle ear is effective therapy that substantially reduces morbidity and sequelae. The fluid that persists after an episode of acute otitis media is known as secretory otitis media or otitis media with effusion and is accompanied by some degree of hearing loss. The use of antibiotics is based on identification of bacterial pathogens in middle-ear fluids of about one third of children with otitis media with effusion and the efficacy of antibiotics is suggested by the data of Mandel et al3 and others.