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Otorinolaringologia 2008 March;58(1):7-12

Copyright © 2008 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Phytotherapy with beta-1,3 glucan in pediatric otolaryngology: treatment of recurrent upper airway infection

Enrico A., Tavormina P.

Ospedale Materno Infantile Regina Margherita S. Anna, Torino


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Aim. Recurrent upper airway infection in children poses a considerable challenge to otolaryngologists and pediatricians, particularly when it occurs in borderline patients often affected with pharyngotonsilitis, otitis or sinusitis but not yet eligible for surgery. In order to improve the quality of life of these patients, a phytotherapeutic strategy with immune-stimulating and curative action was devised.
Methods. The treatment protocol consisted of administration of a phytotherapy complex based on beta-1,3 glucan to a group of 79 children (41 boys, 38 girls; mean age 8.5 years) randomly selected from children referred to the outpatient clinic of the Ospedale Materno Infantile Regina Margherita-S. Anna, Turin, in January 2006. Of these 79 subjects, 46 suffered from chronic adenotonsillitis, 29 from chronic suppurative otitis media, 4 from chronic maxillo-ethmoid sinusitis. Phytotherapy was prescribed for 20 days per month for 3 consecutive months (January-March 2007); follow-up examinations were performed over the following 3 months.
Results. Administration of the phytotherapy complex significantly reduced the number of upper airway infections, with fewer or no recurrence of episodes compared with the previous year. Treatment with the phytotherapy complex brought benefit to 76% of children with adenotonsillitis. In the 29 children with otitis, clinical response was also positive in reducing the number of recurrent suppurative episodes. About 50% of children with sinusitis benefited from the treatment.
Conclusion. The results obtained with this phytotherapy protocol showed a significant reduction in the number of school absences and an improvement in play/recreational activities. Application of phytotherapy to pediatric patients holds promise for further studies in this field.

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