Effect of vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptors in adult otitis media with effusion

  • Mengxiao Ye
  • Xiping LiEmail author
Original Article



Some studies have demonstrated that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of otitis media with effusion (OME) in animal models. However, the levels of VEGF and its receptors in adult OME have not been clarified. Our study was designed to detect the levels of VEGF and its receptors in adult OME and explore their relationship with effusion types, duration and prognosis of OME.


61 patients with secretory otitis media were enrolled including 21 males and 40 females, with an average age of 54.7 ± 17.5 years. The middle-ear effusions were collected by tympanocentesis or myringotomy. The protein concentrations were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and messenger RNA by real-time quantitative PCR.


VEGF level was higher in AOME group, but not correlated with the recurrence of OME. VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 levels were lower in recurrent group compared with non-recurrent group. VEGFR2 level was higher in serous effusions than mucoid effusions. VEGF messenger RNA was positively correlated both with HIF-1α and MUC5B.


VEGF and its receptors function to induce the production of middle-ear effusions (MEEs) at acute stage of OME rather than chronic or recurrent stage, which is mainly mediated by HIF-1α pathway. The formation of mucoid effusions is associated with MUC5B and VEGFR2, but not with duration and recurrence of OME.


Otitis media with effusion Vascular endothelial growth factor Receptor Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α Mucin 5B 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Author Xiping Li received a study-related grant from Wu Jieping Foundation, China. Author Mengxiao Ye declares she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Review Board of Beijing Anzhen Hospital.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from the patients for the experimental use of specimens.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing Anzhen HospitalCapital Medical UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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