The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

Clinical Records

Bilateral acute mastoiditis and subperiosteal abscesses in a child managed by simultaneous bilateral mastoid surgery

I F Hathorna1 and S S M Hussaina2 c1

a1 Department of Otolaryngology, Lauriston Building, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

a2 Department of Otolaryngology, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, Scotland, UK


Objective: We report a case of bilateral acute mastoiditis and subperiosteal abscesses successfully managed with simultaneous surgery.

Method: A case report and literature review are presented.

Results: A two-year-old boy presented with fever, otalgia, otorrhoea and bilateral protruding ears. He was treated for 72 hours with intravenous antibiotics but failed to improve. Computed tomography confirmed bilateral mastoid abscesses with destruction of the mastoid cortex. Bilateral drainage of the subperiosteal abscesses and bilateral cortical mastoidectomies were carried out. Post-operatively, he recovered well, and free field audiometry showed a normal hearing threshold of 20 dB across all test frequencies.

Conclusion: This is only the second reported case of bilateral mastoiditis and subperiosteal abscesses. This case illustrates the use of bilateral cortical mastoidectomy in the successful management of this condition following failed antibiotic therapy, and highlights important management considerations.

(Accepted November 08 2011)


c1 Address for correspondence: Mr S S M Hussain, Consultant Otologist and Neurotologist, Department of Otolaryngology, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY, Scotland, UK E-mail:


Mr S S M Hussain takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper

Competing interests: None declared