Otitis media with effusion (OME) affects 20% of children and 10% have a recurrent problem. The incidence of Helicobacter pylori infection in children ranges from 15 to 46%. This study investigates how the presence of Helicobacter pylori infection affects treatment outcomes in children with OME. Of the 258 children diagnosed with OME, 134 (51.9%) were tested positive for Helicobacter pylori infection. These were randomly divided into a control group which received conventional treatment (amoxicillin-clavulanate for four weeks) and a study group which received triple therapy, namely clarithromycin, metronidazole and lansoprazole.
In the H. pylori positive patients, results were significantly better in the study group treated with triple therapy than in the control group which received amoxicillin-clavulanate.
A comparison between the groups with and without H. pylori infection, both treated conventionally, showed better results in the latter, suggesting adverse effect of H. pylori infection in the management of OME. The study provides an interesting link between two very prevalent conditions.