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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Systemic corticosteroids for acute otitis media in children

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2018
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (89th percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (56th percentile)

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19 X users
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Systemic corticosteroids for acute otitis media in children
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2018
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd012289.pub2
Pubmed ID

Respati W Ranakusuma, Yupitri Pitoyo, Eka D Safitri, Sarah Thorning, Elaine M Beller, Sudigdo Sastroasmoro, Chris B Del Mar


Acute otitis media (AOM) is a common acute infection in children. Pain is its most prominent and distressing symptom. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for AOM, although they have only a modest effect in reducing pain at two to three days. There is insufficient evidence for benefits of other treatment options, including systemic corticosteroids. However, systemic corticosteroids are potent anti-inflammatory drugs, and so theoretically could be effective, either alone or as an addition to antibiotics. To assess the effects of systemic corticosteroids (oral or parenteral), with or without antibiotics, for AOM in children. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) which contains the Cochrane ARI Group's Specialised Register, MEDLINE (Ovid), Embase (Elsevier), CINAHL (EBSCO), Web of Science (Thomson Reuters), and LILACS (BIREME) for published studies, and ClinicalTrials.gov and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) for completed and ongoing studies, to 20 February 2018. We checked the reference lists of all primary studies and review articles for additional references and contacted experts in the field to identify additional unpublished materials. We included randomised controlled trials of children with AOM that compared any systemic corticosteroid (oral or parenteral) with placebo, either with antibiotics (corticosteroid plus antibiotic versus placebo plus antibiotic) or without antibiotics (corticosteroid versus placebo). Three review authors (EDS, RR, YP) independently screened the titles and abstracts and retrieved the full texts of potentially relevant studies. We independently extracted study characteristics and outcome data from the included studies, and assessed the risk of bias for each study using the criteria outlined in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. We assessed study quality using the GRADE method. We included two studies involving 252 children with AOM aged from three months to six years receiving hospital ambulatory care who were treated with intramuscular ceftriaxone, and who were then randomised to the corticosteroid group (corticosteroid and corticosteroid plus antihistamine) or the placebo group (antihistamine and double placebo). In one study, children also had a needle aspiration of middle ear fluid. Both studies were at unclear risk of bias for allocation concealment, and unclear to high risk of bias for selective reporting.One study (N = 179) included pain as an outcome, but we were unable to derive the proportion of children with persistent pain at Day 5 and Day 14. Reduction of overall or specific symptoms was presented as improvement in clinical symptoms and resolution of inflamed tympanic membranes without the need for additional antibiotic treatment: at Day 5 (94% of children in the treatment group (N = 89) versus 89% in the placebo group (N = 90); risk ratio (RR) 1.06, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.97 to 1.16) and Day 14 (91% versus 87%; RR 1.05, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.17). Low-quality evidence meant that we are uncertain of the effectiveness of corticosteroids for this outcome.The second study (N = 73) reported a reduction of overall or specific symptoms without additional antibiotic treatment during the first two weeks as a favourable outcome. Children in the treatment group had more favourable outcomes (adjusted odds ratio 65.9, 95% CI 1.28 to 1000; P = 0.037), although the numbers were small. We were unable to pool the results with the other study because it did not report the proportion of children with this outcome by treatment group. Only one study reported adverse effects of corticosteroids (e.g. drowsiness, nappy rash), but did not quantify incidence, so we were unable to draw conclusions about adverse effects. Neither study reported a reduction in overall or specific symptom duration. The evidence for the effect of systemic corticosteroids on AOM is of low to very low quality, meaning the effect of systemic corticosteroids on important clinical outcomes in AOM remains uncertain. Large, high-quality studies are required to resolve the question.

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X Demographics

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 210 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 210 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 30 14%
Student > Bachelor 18 9%
Researcher 14 7%
Other 14 7%
Student > Postgraduate 14 7%
Other 36 17%
Unknown 84 40%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 58 28%
Nursing and Health Professions 18 9%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 8 4%
Psychology 8 4%
Environmental Science 3 1%
Other 19 9%
Unknown 96 46%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 22. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 30 June 2024.
All research outputs
of 26,161,782 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 13,188 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 355,591 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 215 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 26,161,782 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 93rd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 13,188 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 35.5. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 72% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 355,591 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 215 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 56% of its contemporaries.