David HurstTufts University, USA
David S Hurst
Department of Otolaryngology, Tufts University
This review will examine the science that supports or refutes the possible value of using immunotherapy for the treatment of chronic middle ear disease. The role of allergy in chronic otitis media with effusion (OME) is controversial. New evidence from the fields of cellular biology and immunology now explain the basics of allergic reactions, and allow us to more accurately diagnose allergies and understand the allergic contribution to chronic inflammatory disease throughout the unified airway, including the middle ear. This review will examine the epidemiologic, methodological and immunologic studies of allergic causes of OME, including: evidence for and against OME as an allergic disease 2) allergy as a cause for Eustachian tube (ET) obstruction 3) examination of the most sensitive diagnostic tests for allergy and 4) the evidence demonstrating that immunotherapy treatment of underlying allergies leads to resolution of chronic middle ear disease.