Glue Ear Could Be Caused By Gastric Juices

Glue ear — a frequent cause of deafness in children — could be a result of gastric reflux, which results in stomach proteins accumulating in the middle ear via the Eustachian tube, suggest authors of a research letter in this week’s issue of THE LANCET.

Glue ear is common among children after middle-ear infections (otitis media); effusion, produced by mucus cells, occurs in the middle ear and cannot be cleared. It is a particular problem for young children because of the angle and immaturity of the Eustachian tube, and the supine position in which infants are often placed. There are thought to be several causes of glue ear, including bacterial and viral infection, allergy, and the presence of stomach acid (and the enzyme pepsin) as a result of gastric reflux. Andrea Tasker from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and colleagues investigated reflux of gastric juice as a potential cause of glue ear.

The investigators measured pepsin concentrations in middle ear effusions from children in Newcastle upon Tyne and Nottingham, UK. 45 (83%) of 54 effusions contained pepsin/pepsinogen at concentrations of up to 1000-fold greater than those in blood (used for comparison).

Andrea Tasker comments: “Gastric juice that refluxes into the middle ear will cause transient damage to the Eustachian tube and the middle-ear mucosa before it can be neutralised, resulting in inflammation. This provides ideal conditions for secondary bacterial colonisation, leading to the symptoms associated with glue ear. We therefore think that anti-reflux treatment could prevent otitis media with effusion.”

Media Contact

Richard Lane alphagalileo

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Health and Medicine

This subject area encompasses research and studies in the field of human medicine.

Among the wide-ranging list of topics covered here are anesthesiology, anatomy, surgery, human genetics, hygiene and environmental medicine, internal medicine, neurology, pharmacology, physiology, urology and dental medicine.

Zurück zur Startseite

Kommentare (0)

Schreib Kommentar

Neueste Beiträge

Key breakthrough towards on-site cancer diagnosis

No stain? No sweat: Terahertz waves can image early-stage breast cancer without staining. A team of researchers at Osaka University, in collaboration with the University of Bordeaux and the Bergonié…

A CNIO team describes how a virus can cause diabetes

It has recently been described that infection by some enteroviruses – a genus of viruses that commonly cause diseases of varying severity – could potentially trigger diabetes, although its direct…

Targeting the shell of the Ebola virus

UD research team looking at ways to destabilize virus, knock it out with antivirals. As the world grapples with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, another virus has been raging again in…

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close