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June 1986

Kartagener's Syndrome: A Blinded, Controlled Study of Cilia Ultrastructure

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1986;112(6):646-650. doi:10.1001/archotol.1986.03780060058008

• We investigated respiratory mucosa cilia ultrastructure in patients homozygous for the gene for Kartagener's syndrome (KS) and patients apparently phenotypic for KS who had bronchiectasis and sinusitis but without situs inversus. Parents, as obligate carriers of the recessive KS gene, were also evaluated among other control groups. The four patients with KS had significantly fewer cilia outer dynein arms than normal subjects or parents of patients with KS. Two of five patients apparently phenotypic for KS demonstrated distinctive ultrastructural changes. No other subjects demonstrated explicit ultrastructural abnormalities. Internal control specimens showed that the number of outer dynein arms was consistent within a subject compared with variation between subjects. The outer dynein arm serves as a dependable ultrastructural marker. Carriers of KS do not demonstrate distinctive morphologic cilia abnormalities. Not every patient with chronic bronchiectasis and sinusitis demonstrates abnormal cilia ultrastructure.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1986;112:646-650)