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Oral steroids alone or followed by intranasal steroids versus watchful waiting in the management of otitis media with effusion

  • A Hussein (a1), H Fathy (a1), S M Amin (a2) and N Elsisy (a3)
Abstract Objective:

To evaluate the effects of oral steroids alone or followed by intranasal steroids versus watchful waiting on the resolution of otitis media with effusion in children aged 2–11 years.


A total of 290 children with bilateral otitis media with effusion were assigned to 3 groups: group A was treated with oral steroids followed by intranasal steroids, group B was treated with oral steroids alone and group C was managed with watchful waiting. Patients were evaluated with audiometry and tympanometry.


The complete resolution rates of otitis media with effusion were higher in groups A and B than in group C at six weeks. There were no significant differences in otitis media with effusion resolution rates between the groups at three, six and nine months.


Oral steroids lead only to a quick resolution of otitis media with effusion, with no long-term benefits. There was no benefit of using intranasal steroids in the management of otitis media with effusion.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Ahmed Hussein, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt E-mail:
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