Previous animal studies have shown that the topical application of mitomycin C is safe and effective in prolonging the patency of myringotomy openings in ears that have not received a ventilation tube. We conducted a randomized, controlled study in humans to determine if this treatment would make a difference in outcomes when a ventilation tube is inserted. To that end, we prospectively studied a group of patients with resistant otitis media with effusion who underwent bilateral myringotomy and ventilation tube insertion. Our original study population was made up of 55 children aged 2 to 12 years; 15 of these patients were lost to follow-up, leaving us with 40 patients and 80 ears. Each patient served as his or her own control, as mitomycin C was applied to the tympanic membrane on one side just prior to myringotomy creation and normal saline was applied to the other side. Our main outcomes measures were the duration of tube placement (i.e., the length of time before extrusion of the tube) and the incidence of other early and late postoperative complications. We found no statistically significant difference between the mitomycin C-treated ears and the control ears in any of these parameters. We conclude that the use of mitomycin C prior to myringotomy and ventilation tube insertion is not worthwhile.
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