Lysozyme was demonstrated by an immunocytochemical technique in the biopsied mucosa obtained from the promontory of the fifteen patients who had chronic middle ear effusions. Lysozyme was localized in the mucigen granules of the secretory cells, as well as in the specific granules of the polymorphonuclear neutrophilic leukocytes (PMN) and macrophages. The specimens obtained from patients with mucous effusions showed numerous secretory cells that contained lysozyme, in sharp contrast to the serous type in which only a few secretory cells could be found. The present morphological finding was in agreement with the biochemical finding which demonstrated higher lysozyme level in mucous effusions than that of the serous type. It was concluded that human middle ear mucosa provided lysozyme and that its secretion was active in serous otitis media, particularly of mucoid type.
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