The following article features coverage from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting. Click here to read more of MPR‘s conference coverage.

Use of ibuprofen postoperatively does not appear to significantly increase the severity of posttonsillectomy hemorrhage (PTH) in pediatric patients, according to findings presented at the AAO-HNSF 2021 Annual Meeting.

Study authors conducted a retrospective cohort study of pediatric patients (mean age, 8.7 years; 55% male) requiring operative control of PTH. To assess the severity of PTH, the study authors looked at pretonsillectomy and post-hemorrhage hemoglobin and hematocrit values. They also reviewed operative reports to assess the level of blood loss, the blood flow rate, and the need for transfusion.

Of the 193 patients included in the analysis, 78 received ibuprofen for postoperative pain. The 2 groups were reported to be similar with regard to age, gender and surgical indication. Primary hemorrhage occurred in 6 patients in the ibuprofen group and 12 patients in the no ibuprofen group.

In patients who received ibuprofen compared with patients who did not, results showed no statistically significant differences in the mean change in hemoglobin (0.9 vs 1.1; P =.29) or hematocrit (2.7 vs 3.0; P =.36), need for transfusion (4% vs 3%; P =1.00), presence of high-flow hemorrhage (34% vs 40%; P =.55), or significant blood loss (8% vs 9%; P =1.00).

“This study introduces previously unexplored markers to assess PTH severity,” the study authors noted. Results support further studies to determine the effect of ibuprofen on PTH severity.


De Ravin E, Banik GL, Buzi A. Effect of ibuprofen on severity of surgically managed posttonsillectomy hemorrhage in pediatric patients. AAO-HNSF 2021 Annual Meeting; October 3-6, 2021; Los Angeles, CA.