Conclusions. The model appears relevant for studies on sequelae after acute otitis media (AOM), and may be the seed of a new, chronic tympanic membrane perforation model in the gerbil. Objectives. To evaluate an experimental model for abortive otitis media and to assess the structural and functional changes of the tympanic membrane in the resolving phase. Materials and methods. The middle ears of 16 Mongolian gerbils were inoculated with type 6a Streptococcus pneumoniae. Half of the animals were treated with antibiotics on days 4-6, when otoscopy was performed as well. After 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks the animals were sacrificed and their tympanic membranes were examined by otoscopy, dissection microscopy, light microscopy and moire interferometry. Results. On days 4 and 6 AOM was produced in approximately 80% of the animals and perforations prevailed in approximately 30% at the study end points. Clinical signs of AOM and oedema of the tympanic membrane had already started to reduce after 1 week, and often resolved within 2 weeks. The mechanical stiffness of the tympanic membrane remained relatively unharmed in the non-perforated ears. The antibiotic treatment seemed to reduce the duration of oedema but not the perforation rate.