OBJECTIVES: We sought to compare the levels of cytokines and cell adhesion molecules in middle ear effusions (MEEs) of children with (group 1) or without (group 2) acute otitis media (AOM) within 3 months of obtaining MEE and to correlate these levels with hearing loss. DESIGN AND SUBJECTS: MEE were collected from children (49 and 51 children composed groups 1 and 2, respectively) with otitis media with effusion (OME) undergoing tube placement who had an audiogram performed preoperatively. MEE was assessed as serous or mucoid. Cytokines and cell adhesion molecules were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Data were analyzed with the Student t test, χ 2 test, and the Pearson correlation test. RESULTS: Concentrations of interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, and vascular cell adhesion molecules (VCAM) were greater in the MEE of the children in group 1 compared with those of group 2 children. (P < 0.001 for IL-1 and IL-6; P < 0.05 for VCAM). The concentrations of IL-1, IL-6, VCAM, and E-selectin were greater in serous than in mucoid MEE. (P < 0.05). Concentrations of IL-6 correlated with the concentrations of the other 2 cytokines and the 3 cell adhesion molecules. Only concentrations of IL-6 in MEE correlated with the degree of hearing loss (P < 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: The inflammatory response leading to OME involves multiple cytokines regardless of an AOM episode in the 3 months before obtaining MEE. IL-6 is an important cytokine in the pathogenesis of OME.
ASJC Scopus subject areas