Beta-2 transferrin: Limitations of use as a clinical marker for perilymph

Mark J. Levenson, Rosemary B. Desloge, Simon C. Parisier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Beta-2 transferrin is a protein marker that can be used in the clinical setting to reliably identify the presence of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Recent literature has suggested that beta-2 transferrin can also be used as a clinical marker for perilymph. This study investigates the use of a beta-2 transferrin assay as a method to identify the presence of perilymph. Twenty-two patients were enrolled in the study. Fluid samples were obtained intraoperatively and tested for the presence of beta-2 transferrin. As expected, four CSF samples collected were positive for beta-2 transferrin; however, four known perilymph samples collected from patients undergoing cochlear implantation were negative for beta-2 transferrin, seven of nine known perilymph samples obtained during stapedectomies were negative for beta-2 transferrin, and four of five samples collected during middle ear explorations for fistula were negative for beta-2 transferrin. With current methodology beta-2 transferrin does not appear to be a reliable clinical marker for perilymph in the operative setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-161
Number of pages3
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1996
Externally publishedYes


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