Beta-2 transferrin assay in the identification of perilymph

Craig A. Buchman, William M. Luxford, Barry E. Hirsch, Michael J. Fucci, Robert H. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Hypothesis: Western blot assay for beta-2 transferrin protein is a clinically useful method for the detection of human perilymph and should be used for the diagnosis of perilymph fistulas (PLFs). Background: Considerable controversy exists regarding the diagnosis of PLF. Recent studies suggest that the detection of beta-2 transferrin protein may be useful in the identification of perilymph. Methods: To evaluate the usefulness of the beta- 2 transferrin assay for identifying human perilymph, paired perilymph samples and negative controls were collected on Gelfoam pledgets from 20 patients who had surgery that opened the inner ear. Blinded immunoelectrophoretic assay (Western blot) for beta-2 transferrin was performed on each specimen. Results: Only one (5%) of the known perilymph samples and none of the control specimens were definitely positive for beta-2 transferrin. Combined with historical data, this assay has 29% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 100% positive predictive value, and 31% negative predictive value, Conclusions: These findings suggest that the beta-2 transferrin protein assay may not be a reliable method for detecting human perilymph when performed using this technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-178
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Otology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 21 1999


  • Beta-2 transferrin
  • Perilymph
  • Perilymph fistula
  • Protein


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