Towards an optical diagnostic system for otitis media using a combination of otoscopy and spectroscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


An improved method, where conventional otoscope investigation of human suspicious otitis media is combined with diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and gas in scattering media absorption spectroscopy (GASMAS) is being developed. Otitis media is one of the most common infectious diseases in children, whose Eustachian tube connecting the middle ear with the nasal cavity is more horizontal than for adults, which leads to impaired fluid drainage. At present, the use of an otoscope to visually observe possible changes in the tympanic membrane appearance is the main diagnostics method for otitis media. Inaccurate diagnosis related to similar symptoms, and the difficulty for small children to describe the condition experienced, frequently leads to over-prescription of antibiotics and alarming increase in bacterial resistance development. More accurate diagnostic methods are highly desirable. Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy is a non-invasive quantitative spectroscopic technique that enables to objectively quantify changes in the hemoglobin content of the tympanic membrane related to inflammation. If an infection is present, the ventilatory function of the Eustachian tube is frequently impaired and the middle-ear cavity will be filled with fluid. GASMAS, a non-invasive detection method, can non-invasively determine if gas is replaced by fluid in the middle-ear cavity.


External organisations
  • South China Normal University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • diagnostics, diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, ear infection, GASMAS, otitis media, otoscope
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere201800305
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number6
Early online date2019 Feb 5
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch