To evaluate changes in taste threshold in patients with chronic otitis media with effusion (COME) and their relationship with body mass index. A relationship has been suggested between pediatric obesity and COME, and we hypothesized that changes in taste function may occur in children with COME and that such changes may be associated with changes in body weight.
A prospective, nonrandomized, case-control study.
A university tertiary care center.
The experimental group comprised 42 children with COME who underwent tympanostomy tube insertion, and the control group, 42 children without otitis media with effusion. Patients were enrolled between September 2007 and August 2009.
Main Outcome Measure
Taste threshold was measured by electrogustometry, and 4 standard taste solutions (sucrose, sodium chloride, citric acid, and quinine hydrochloride) were used in chemical taste tests.
Body mass index was significantly higher in the COME than in the control group (P = .02). Electrogustometry showed that the anterior part of the tongue had a significantly higher taste threshold in the COME than in the control group (anterior right, P = .03; anterior left, P = .04), and chemical taste test results showed that sweet and salty tastes were significantly lower in the COME group (sweet, P = .02; salty, P = .04).
These results showed that COME can cause changes in taste and that these changes may be related to pediatric obesity.