Influence of topical antifungal drugs on ciliary beat frequency of human nasal mucosa: an in vitro study

Laryngoscope. 2010 Jul;120(7):1444-8. doi: 10.1002/lary.20965.


Objectives/hypothesis: Topical antifungal treatment is a subject of discussion in the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis. The aim of this research was to study the effects of antifungal drugs on ciliary beat frequency (CBF) of human nasal mucosa under in vitro conditions.

Study design: Case series of in vitro experiments and in vitro study of cultured ciliated cells of human nasal mucosa.

Methods: Human nasal mucosa was acquired during routine endoscopic sinus surgery. Cells were cultivated on object slides and exposed to different antifungal drugs in a newly developed test system. This system allowed continuous and reproducible exposure to different drugs at constant temperature, pH value, and osmolarity. The drugs were amphotericin B in two different concentrations and itraconazole.

Results: Rinsing with higher concentrations of amphotericin B led to an immediate decrease of CBF, with a total stop after 15 minutes. A different result was seen in the group with lower concentrations; CBF decreased again quickly after rinsing with the test drug, but all of them recovered after rinsing with neutral solution. When using itraconazole a decline in CBF was observed again; one half of the samples returned to activity.

Conclusions: Our in vitro results demonstrate a dose-dependent effect of the antifungal drugs amphotericin B and itraconazole on ciliary beat frequency of human nose epithelium.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Amphotericin B / administration & dosage
  • Amphotericin B / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cilia / drug effects
  • Cilia / physiology
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Itraconazole / administration & dosage
  • Itraconazole / pharmacology
  • Nasal Mucosa / drug effects*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Itraconazole
  • Amphotericin B