The role of atopy in otitis media with effusion among primary school children: audiological investigation

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Objective of this study is to value the role of atopy in otitis media with effusion (OME) in children attending primary school in Western Sicily focusing on the audiological characteristics among atopic and non atopic subjects suffering from OME. 310 children (5-6 years old) were screened by skin tests and divided into atopics (G1) and non atopics (G2). The samples were evaluated for OME by pneumatic otoscopy, tympanogram and acoustic reflex tests. The parameters considered were: documented persistent middle ear effusion by otoscopic examination for a minimum of 3 months; presence of B or C tympanogram; absence of ipsilateral acoustic reflex and a conductive hearing loss greater than 25 dB at any one of the frequencies from 250 Hz through 4 kHz. 56 children (18.06%) resulted atopics while 254 were non atopics. OME was identified in 24 atopic children and in 16 non atopic children for a total number of 40 children; the overall prevalence rate was 12.9% (42.85% for G1 and 6.30% for G2). OME was bilateral in 28 children (70%), with a significative difference between G1 (79.17%) and G2 (56.25%). The prevalence of B tympanogram was 70.59%, corresponding to 79.07% for G1 and 56% for G2. The mean air conduction pure tone was respectively 31.97 dB for G1 and 29.8 dB for G2. The prevalence value of OME in atopics children, also supported by the higher predominance of bilaterality, B tympanogram and hearing loss among this group, could suggest the important role of allergy in the pathogenesis of OME.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1673-1678
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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