To the Editor.—The recent article by Thomsen and coworkers1 concludes that antibiotics (amoxicillin with clavulanate potassium—Spectramox in Denmark, Augmentin in the United States) are effective in the treatment of childhood secretory otitis media. Among children who had at least 3 months of unresolving secretory otitis media, a 1-month administration of Augmentin is argued to be more effective than placebo treatment. To support those claims, in Fig 1 and in Tables 2, 3, and 4, the authors provide various exposures and analyses of the longitudinal data obtained in this 12-month-duration clinical trial that was completed in 1986.
The primary hypothesis, although not explicitly stated, seems to be that a 1-month antibiotic treatment for pediatric secretory otitis media as measured over a 12-month observation period is efficacious. The critical examination of their results suggest that this article is scientifically flawed and the efficacy conclusion of antibiotics cannot be supported with
CANTEKIN EI. Antibiotics for Secretory Otitis Media. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990;116(5):626–628. doi:10.1001/archotol.1990.01870050126022
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