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Background and Objectives:Retension of inflammatory cells and cytokines in the middle ear cleft can result in ongoing chro-nic otitis media with efusion. This study aims to investigate the role of these inflamatory cels and cytokines in the middle ear effusion (MEE) of children with otitis media with efusion. Materials and Method:sion samples for IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α and inflamatory cels and tried to elucidate the relationship between the concentration of these cytokines, inflammatory cells and clinical features. Results:1) The concentration of TNF-αin MEE from children youn-ger than 2 years was significantly higher than the levels of children older than 2 years (p<0.05). 2) The concentration of TNF-α (p<0.05). 3) The concentration of IL-6 in MEE of the ears with hearing threshold poorer than 35 dB was significantly higher than the levels of the ears with hearing threshold better than 35 dB (p<0.05). Conclusion:The results showed that TNF-α and IL-6 are intimately involved in the inflamatory cascade of the midle ear and sugest regulation of these cytokines as posible sites of future thera-peutic intervention in otitis media with efusion. (Korean J Otolaryngol 2003 ;46 : 815-21)