Clinical characteristics and an evaluation of predictors for a favourable outcome of Mycobacterium abscessus otomastoiditis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data

Jordi Manders, Theresa Leow, Koen van Aerde, Myrthe Hol, Dirk Kunst, Sjoert Pegge, Thijs Jansen, Jakko van Ingen, Stijn Bekkers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


BACKGROUND: Otomastoiditis caused by Mycobacterium abscessus is rare, but its incidence has increased over the past decades and its optimal treatment remains unknown. This study aims to summarise the clinical and therapeutic features and find characteristics of patients with M. abscessus otomastoiditis associated with favourable treatment outcomes.

METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase and Web of Science to identify studies including patients with M. abscessus otomastoiditis. A 1-stage individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis was conducted. A 2-level mixed-effects linear regression model was provided for antimycobacterial treatment duration.

RESULTS: Twenty-three studies reported a total of 85 patients. Children possess a unique clinical profile including a history of ear infections, tympanostomy tube placement and antibiotic treatment. Antimycobacterial treatment was administered for 26 (interquartile range [IQR]: 15-35) weeks. Macrolides were prescribed in 98.8% of the cases. Surgery was performed in 80.5% of the cases, of which, 47.1% required revision surgery. Otalgia was a significant predictor (β = 9.3; P = .049) of antimycobacterial treatment duration.

CONCLUSIONS: Mastoid surgery (regularly requiring revision) and a multidrug regimen for a minimum of 6 months, including a minimum of 3 active agents, are most often needed to attain cure. The presence of otalgia significantly extends the treatment duration of M. abscessus otomastoiditis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-402
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Macrolides/pharmacology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous/drug therapy
  • Mycobacterium abscessus
  • Otomastoiditis
  • Non-tuberculous mycobacteria
  • Otitis media

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