Acute otitis media associated with cytomegalovirus infection in infants and children

Hisakazu Yano, Naohiro Okitsu, Oshi Watanabe, Tomoko Kisu, Toru Hori, Etsuko Hatagishi, Michiko Okamoto, Akira Ohmi, Ken Ichiro Yamada, Shun Sagai, Mitsuko Suetake, Toshimitsu Kobayashi, Hidekazu Nishimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Acute otitis media (AOM) is one of the most common complications of viral respiratory tract infections in children, but the role of each virus is still to be elucidated. We analyzed AOM associated with infection by cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is known as one of the major causes of viral respiratory tract infection. Methods: Four hundred and ninety-five children (292 boys and 203 girls) diagnosed as having AOM in 2002 were studied. All of the children were under 6 years old, with the average age being 1.31 ± 1.36 years. Bacterial and viral culture of both nasopharyngeal secretions (NPS) and middle ear fluid (MEF) was performed in all 495 children. The levels of glutamyl pyruvic transaminase (GPT) and the serum IgM antibody for CMV were measured. CMV infection was defined on the basis of isolation of this virus by culture and/or positive anti-CMV IgM antibody. NPS and MEF specimens of the subjects diagnosed as having CMV infection were tested for the virus by nested PCR. Results: Twelve of the 495 children were found to have CMV infection. They included 6 boys and 6 girls aged from 3 to 25 months, with the average age being 11 ± 7 months. Among 10 children in whom CMV infection was diagnosed by viral culture, CMV was isolated from NPS alone in nine cases and from both NPS and MEF in one case. Nested PCR was performed in all 12 subjects diagnosed as having CMV infection, and all NPS samples were positive, as were 8 MEF samples. We obtained serum samples from 205 children under 2 years of age, including 9 with CMV infection. The mean serum GPT level of 124 children in whom no viruses were detected was 20.7 ± 14.4 IU/L. While, the serum GPT levels of 9 children with CMV infection ranged from 10 to 280 IU/L with the average titer being 78.4 ± 81.9 IU/L, and the GPT levels of the children with CMV infection were significantly higher than those of the children in whom no viruses were detected (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Our results suggested that CMV is a causative pathogen of AOM, and that CMV infection should be suspected in patients with AOM and liver dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1443-1447
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sept


  • Acute otitis media
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Liver dysfunction


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