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March 1990

Adenoidectomy for Secretory Otitis Media

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990;116(3):359. doi:10.1001/archotol.1990.01870030123025

To the Editor.—I am writing this letter in reference to the article by David F. Austin, MD, entitled "Adenoidectomy for Secretory Otitis Media."1

While I have significant respect for Austin's clinical experience over the years, this article does not support his contention that adenoidectomy is the treatment for secretory otitis media. The study of 31 children is very poorly documented. There is no mention of age, otoscopic examination of the ears, findings at the time of myringotomy and tube placement, preoperative medical management, or reason for tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. The mean follow-up of 1.9 months is inadequate in managing chronic otitis media with effusion.

The private series of 425 children, while interesting, does not provide any further documentation of the benefit of tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy on chronic otitis media with effusion. While I agree that adenoid pathology may contribute to ear disease, I do not believe that adenoidectomy