Histopathology of otitis media with effusion
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Ultrastructural studies of the middle ear mucosa appear to be of significant value in better understanding the pathology of otitis media with effusion (OME). Our present study was undertaken in order to take advantage of the use of electron microscopy in investigating all areas of the middle ear mucosa. Tissues studied were obtained from the fresh postmortem temporal bones of three patients with OME and terminal head and neck malignancies. In the mucoid type of effusion (cases 1 and 2), goblet cells were seen to proliferate and secretory activity was greatly enhanced. In contrast, there was no evidence of secretory cell proliferation in the serous type of effusion. It was noteworthy that accumulated fluid was not homogeneous in the same ear, as exemplified by case 1, in which both mucoid and serous effusions were present. This occurrence was possibly the result of topographic diversity involving the secretory activity of the middle ear.
Key wordsOtitis media with effusion Electron microscopy Human temporal bones
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