BACKGROUND--Patients with lung transplantation are prone to respiratory infections. Generally this is attributable to the effects of immunosuppressive drugs but mucociliary clearance has been found to be impaired in these subjects. A study was performed to determine whether this finding is accompanied by a reduction in ciliary beat frequency (CBF). METHODS--Six patients who had undergone single lung transplantation for fibrosing lung disease were investigated. CBF was measured in mucosal samples from native and transplanted bronchi by a videophotometry method. RESULTS--The CBF was reduced in the transplanted bronchi in all cases when both fastest and slowest beating cilia were examined. The fastest beating cilia on the native side had a mean (SD) CBF of 12.1 (1.3) Hz compared with 9.6 (2.0) Hz on the transplanted side. The slowest beating cilia also had reduced CBF on the transplanted side. CONCLUSION--In patients with fibrotic lung disease, CBF is reduced in transplanted bronchi in comparison with native bronchi.
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