Acute mastoiditis remains the commonest intratemporal complication of otitis media in the paediatric population. There has been a lack of consensus regarding the diagnosis and management of acute mastoiditis, resulting in considerable disparity in conservative and surgical management.
To review the current literature, proposing recommendations for the management of paediatric acute mastoiditis and appraising the treatment outcomes.
A systematic review was conducted using PubMed, Web of Science and Cochrane Library databases.
Twenty-one studies were included, with a total of 564 patients. Cure rates of medical treatment, conservative surgery and mastoidectomy were 95.9 per cent, 96.3 per cent and 89.1 per cent, respectively.
Mastoidectomy may be the most definitive treatment available; however, reviewed data suggest that conservative treatment alone has high efficacy as first-line treatment in uncomplicated cases of acute mastoiditis, and conservative therapy may be an appropriate first-line management when treating acute mastoiditis.