Serum Trace Elements and Heavy Metal Levels in Patients Diagnosed with Chronic Otitis Media and Their Association with Surgical Treatment Outcomes

J Int Adv Otol. 2017 Dec;13(3):345-348. doi: 10.5152/iao.2017.3617. Epub 2017 Nov 21.


Objective: To determine the serum iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), magnesium (Mg), cobalt (Co), and lead (Pb) levels in patients with chronic otitis media (COM) and to evaluate the association of the serum levels of these elements with treatment outcomes.

Materials and methods: Thirty-one healthy volunteers and 31 patients with COM were prospectively included in this study. Serum levels of Fe, Zn, Mn, Mg, Cu, Co, and Pb were determined by an atomic absorption UNICAM-929 spectrophotometer.

Results: Serum Co, Pb, and Fe levels were significantly increased (p<0.001) and serum Cu, Zn, Mg, and Mn levels were significantly reduced in patients with COM compared with controls (p<0.001). Serum Co and Mn levels were significantly decreased (p<0.001 and p<0.005, respectively) and serum Cu levels were significantly increased after surgery (p<0.005). The other evaluated blood chemicals and heavy metals did not exhibit significant differences (p>0.05).

Conclusion: Significant alterations in the serum chemical composition of patients with COM were observed. Moreover, with surgical treatment, serum levels of some of these chemicals were significantly altered. Further prospective studies are warranted to elucidate the exact association of these alterations in the etiopathogenesis of COM.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metals, Heavy / blood
  • Metals, Heavy / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Otitis Media / metabolism*
  • Otitis Media / surgery
  • Trace Elements / blood
  • Trace Elements / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Trace Elements