Clinical Practice Guideline: Acute Otitis Externa

Clinical Practice Guideline: Acute Otitis Externa


Updated from 2006 Publication

Leadership: Richard M. Rosenfeld MD, MPH (Chair), Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH (Methodologist) 

Guideline Update Group: C. Ron Cannon MD, Peter S. Roland MD, Geoffrey R. Simon MD, K. Ashok Kumar, MD, FRCS, FAAFP, William W. Wang, MD, MPH, Helen W. Haskell, MA

The updated guideline was published as a supplement in the February 2014 issue of Otolaryngology——Head and Neck Surgery.

The primary purpose of the original guideline was to promote appropriate use of oral and topical antimicrobials for AOE and to highlight the need for adequate pain relief. An updated guideline is needed due to new clinical trials, new systematic reviews, and the lack of consumer participation in the initial guideline development group. The target patient is aged 2 years or older with diffuse AOE. Differential diagnosis will be discussed, but recommendations for management will be limited to diffuse AOE, which is almost exclusively a bacterial infection.  This guideline is intended for primary care and specialist clinicians, including otolaryngologists – head and neck surgeons, pediatricians, family physicians, emergency physicians, internists, nurse–practitioners, and physician assistants. This guideline is applicable in any setting in which patients with diffuse AOE would be identified, monitored, or managed.


American Academy of Family Physicians, September, 2014

Society of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Nurses, Inc . Oct 2011 (original 2006 Guideline)

Physician Resources

Access the guideline via the National Guidelines Clearinghouse.