Fast forward - 1 March 2012
TEN years ago Australian experts downplayed a suggestion that anti-reflux treatment could be used to prevent glue ear in children.
Debate arose after UK researchers tested middle ear effusion samples in 54 children, finding that more than 80% of these samples were positive for pepsin and pepsinogen protein (Lancet 2002; 359:493).
Commenting on the article in 2002, ear nose and throat surgeon Clinical Professor Harvey Coates said that until the researchers could supply evidence from a controlled study that anti-reflux treatment was worthwhile, he “would be hesitant” to recommend GPs start using it routinely.
Ten years on and still waiting for such a trial to be conducted, Professor Coates, the senior ENT surgeon at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, says reflux continues to be just one of the factors considered when searching for the precipitating cause of recurrent paediatric ear infection.