Objective: Eosinophilic otitis media (EOM) is a newly recognized intractable middle ear disease, characterised by the accumulation of eosinophils in middle ear effusion and middle ear mucosa. Since EOM patients show gradual or sudden deterioration of hearing, it is important to properly diagnose EOM and to start adequate treatment for EOM. We aimed to investigate the clinical risk factors of EOM and to establish the diagnostic criteria of EOM. Patients and methods: We reviewed 138 patients with EOM and 134 age-matched patients with the common type of otitis media with effusion or chronic otitis media as controls. We analyzed the incidence of the following clinical variables in both groups: bilaterality of otitis media, viscosity of middle ear effusion, formation of granulation tissue in the middle ear, response to the treatment for otitis media, deterioration of bone conduction hearing level, and association with other diseases such as bronchial asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis, nasal polyposis, and allergic rhinitis. Results: A high odds ratio was obtained from an association with bronchial asthma (584.5), resistance to conventional treatment for otitis media (232.2), viscous middle ear effusion (201.6), association with nasal polyposis (42.17), association with chronic rhinosinusitis (26.49), bilaterality (12.93), and granulation tissue formation (12.62). The percentage of patients with EOM who were positive for two or more among the highest four items was 98.55%. Conclusion: A patient who shows otitis media with effusion or chronic otitis media with eosinophil-dominant effusion (major criterion) and with two or more among the highest four items (minor criteria), can be diagnosed as having EOM. Patients with ear symptoms should have the proper diagnosis of EOM using the proposed diagnostic criteria, and then can receive adequate treatment, resulting in prevention of deterioration of hearing and quality of life.
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