Public Release: 

Prompt diagnosis of ear infections can improve outcome for organ transplant recipients

New research released at world's largest ENT meeting

American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

San Diego, CA - Organ transplant recipients benefit significantly when they are monitored and receive prompt diagnosis and treatment for otitis media, a common inner ear infection.

In a paper presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in San Diego, researchers reviewed the medical records of 3,278 patients who received solid organ transplantation between February 1995 and December 2007 at a medical center in Seoul, South Korea.

The study showed that 65 (2 %) of the organ transplant patients had chronic otitis media. Thirty-one cases were from liver transplantation, 28 cases from renal transplantation, and six cases from heart transplantation. Bacterial growth was present in 17 out of 40 isolates. Of those 65 patients, nine underwent surgery, 26 improved with antibiotic treatment, and 30 patients were observed without definite treatment during the pre-transplantation period. After transplantation, aggravation of chronic otitis media was lower in patients receiving surgery than in patients receiving antibiotic therapy or observation alone.

According to the authors, immunosuppressed patients who have undergone organ transplantation can have a clinically hidden otitis media infection which can result in one of the most common life-threatening complications, transplantation failure. So effective treatment of otitis media in these patients appears to be a significant determinant in the success of organ transplantation.


Title: Chronic otitis media in solid organ transplant recipients
Presenters: Myeong Sang Yu, MD, Joong Ho Ahn, MD, Tae Hyun Yoon, MD, Kwang-Sun Lee, MD, Jong Woo Ghung

Information for the Media: The AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO Newsroom will be located in the San Diego Convention Center, Mezzanine Level, Room 14A. Hours of operation: Saturday, October 3, 12 pm to 5 pm; Sunday-Tuesday, October 4 - 6, 7:30 am to 5 pm; and Wednesday, October 7, 7:30 am to 2 pm (all hours Pacific time). The newsroom serves as a work space for credentialed members of the news media. The newsroom is managed and staffed by the AAO-HNS Communications Unit. Please see the AAO-HNS website for media credentialing requirements for the event.

Onsite Newsroom contact: 1-619-525-6202

About the AAO-HNS

The American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (, one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents nearly 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ear, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's vision: "Empowering otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons to deliver the best patient care."

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