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January 1990

Permeability of the Round Window Membrane to Middle-Sized Molecules in Purulent Otitis Media

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis. Dr Ikeda is now with the Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990;116(1):57-60. doi:10.1001/archotol.1990.01870010061018

• The effect of pneumococcal otitis media on the permeability of the round window membrane was evaluated using tetraethylammonium ions as a tracer. Round window membrane permeability is reduced significantly at resolved stages of purulent otitis media. In contrast, measurements of round window membrane permeability indicate that acute purulent otitis media has a tendency to facilitate such permeability. Moreover, histologic observations of the round window membrane following bacterial inoculation further support the evidence of functional changes in round window membrane permeability. These findings indicate that the round window membrane in resolved stages of purulent otitis media plays a protective role in preventing the penetration of harmful substances into the inner ear.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990;116:57-60)

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