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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2001 Mar;110(3):243-7.

Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue in middle ear and eustachian tube.

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1
Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.

Abstract

The presence of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) was investigated histopathologically in every 20th section from 99 vertically cut, celloidin-embedded temporal bone-eustachian tube (ET) specimens. Among specimens from infants and children between 1 month and 7 years of age, MALT was found in 22 of 44 (50%). However, in 26 adults over 18 years of age, MALT was found in only 2 specimens (7.7%), a significantly lower incidence than that in infants and children. Moreover, MALT did not appear in any of the 21 neonates under the age of 1 month. All 99 specimens were classified into 2 groups: 41 specimens with otitis media (OM) and 58 specimens without OM. The presence of MALT was significantly higher in specimens with OM (43.9%) than in specimens without OM (13.8%). Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue was found in the ET, middle ear, and mastoid process in 18 specimens (43.9%). 5 specimens (12.2%), and 1 specimen (2.4%) with OM, respectively, and in 8 (13.8%), 0, and 0 specimens without OM. In regard to the distribution of MALT, it occurred more frequently in the pharyngeal half of the cartilaginous portion of the ET than in the rest of the ET, middle ear, and mastoid; the presence was significantly greater in the inferior half of the cartilaginous portion of the ET than in the superior half. Inflammatory cell infiltration in the cartilaginous and bony portions of the ET was significantly greater in specimens with OM than in specimens without OM with no MALT. However, even in some specimens without OM, inflammatory cells were found in the ET, particularly in the pharyngeal half of the cartilaginous portion of the ET. These findings suggest that MALT has a close relationship to OM and that it may be a local response to repeated infection.

PMID:
11269768
DOI:
10.1177/000348940111000307
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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