Medical and surgical characteristics of fusobacterium necrophorum mastoiditis in children

David Ulanovski*, Sagit Stern Shavit, Oded Scheuerman, Meirav Sokolov, Ohad Hilly, Eyal Raveh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To evaluate and compare characteristics of Fusobacterium necrophorum mastoiditis (FnM) to characteristics of acute mastoiditis (AM) caused by other bacteria in tertiary children hospital Methods : Children with FnM (N=43) and non FnM (N=88). Assess medical, microbiologic and imaging characteristics, surgical findings and postoperative recovery. Results: Children with FnM had a positive history of otitis media, ear discharge and sub-periosteal abscess (p=0.0004, 0.09, 0.0003, respectively) at presentation. Their temperature, WBC and CRP were significantly higher (39.8 vs. 37.9, 19.4K vs. 16.1K, 21 vs. 8.7, p=0.0001). Positive culture was found in 46% of patients; 64% were diagnosed by PCR. CT scan was indicated in 95% and surgical intervention in 93% of children with FnM, compared to 15% and 9.7% of children in the non-FnM group (p=0.0001). Complex post-operative course was frequent for the FnM group: 88% of children had persistent fever, 46% had additional imaging and 14% additional surgical intervention. Children with FnM were treated with IV antibiotics for an average of 22 compared to seven days for non-FnM children (p=0.0001). Conclusions: Fusobacterium should be suspect in a child presenting with AM, a septic appearance, high fever and increased inflammation markers. A regimen of two antibiotics should be empirically started, then proceed to imaging and early surgical intervention. A relatively slow post-operative recovery process should be expected; however, prognosis is good.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110324
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Acute mastoiditis
  • Fusobacterium necrophorum
  • Mastoidectomy


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