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Original Article
October 2003

Evaluation of Topical Povidone-Iodine in Chronic Suppurative Otitis Media

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (Drs Jaya and Job), Clinical Microbiology (Dr Mathai), and Biostatistics (Dr Antonisamy), Christian Medical College, Vellore, India. The authors have no relevant financial interest in this article.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003;129(10):1098-1100. doi:10.1001/archotol.129.10.1098

Objectives  To evaluate if povidone-iodine (PVP-I) can be used topically in the treatment of chronic suppurative otitis media–tubotympanic disease and to compare it with ciprofloxacin hydrochloride ear drops.

Design  Prospective double-blind randomized study.

Setting  Academic tertiary medical center.

Patients  Forty patients with chronic suppurative otitis media were randomized into 2 groups.

Intervention  One group (19 patients) received 5% PVP-I ear drops, while the other group (21 patients) received 0.3% ciprofloxacin ear drops. Both were administered topically, 3 drops 3 times daily for 10 days. These patients were followed up at weekly intervals for up to 4 weeks after commencing therapy.

Results  Clinical improvement at the end of study was 88% in the PVP-I group and 90% in the ciprofloxacin group. The most commonly isolated organism was Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In vitro resistance to ciprofloxacin was seen in 17% of organisms, while no resistance was seen for PVP-I.

Conclusions  To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the efficacy of PVP-I as a topical agent in the treatment of chronic suppurative otitis media. The results show that clinically, topical PVP-I is as effective as topical ciprofloxacin, with a superior advantage of having no in vitro drug resistance. Also, there is an added benefit of reduced cost of therapy.