Differentiating Acute Otitis Media (AOM) from Otitis Media with Effusion (OME) Using Autofluorescence of NADPH in Neutrophils

Boitnott, Abigail, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Guilford, William, EN-Biomed Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Wayland, Kent, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

Physicians visually differentiate between otitis media types (AOM and OME) using an otoscope. Type of otoscope, eyesight of the physician, temperament of the patient, and severity of the fluid buildup make these diagnoses unreliable about 27% of the time. About 2.2 million cases of AOM occur annually among children, amounting to a direct cost of $4 billion per year due to the unnecessary removal of adenoids or tonsils, over-prescription of antibiotics, and loss of hearing. In infected effusion, it is logical that there is a corresponding immune response and therefore neutrophils present. NADPH is present in neutrophils responding to infection; therefore, the goal of this project is to develop a successful proof of concept for detecting NADPH as a surrogate measure of neutrophils in the middle ear, thereby indicating if infected fluid is in the space and enabling a physician to make a correct diagnosis.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
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