Background: The diagnosis of Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) can be challenging, and it may be particularly difficult to distinguish primary ciliary disease from the secondary changes after infections.
Objectives: The purpose of the study was to evaluate if nasal epithelial cells, obtained with nasal brushing instead of a biopsy, could be used in a culture system for the diagnosis of PCD in difficult cases.
Methods and main results: Ciliary motion analysis (CMA) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were performed on 59 subjects with persistent or recurrent pneumonia. These investigations allowed the diagnosis of PCD in 13 (22%) patients while the defect of cilia was considered secondary to infections in 37 (63%) subjects. In the remaining 9 (15%) patients the diagnostic evaluation with CMA and TEM remained inconclusive. Ciliogenesis in culture allowed the diagnosis of PCD in 4 of these patients, it was indicative of a secondary defect in 2 subjects, and it was not helpful in the remaining 3 patients. Conclusions: Culture of cells obtained with brushing of the nasal turbinate is not a perfect test, nevertheless it may offer diagnostic help in doubtful cases of PCD.
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