Agenesis of paranasal sinuses and nasal nitric oxide in primary ciliary dyskinesia

Eur Respir J. 2011 Mar;37(3):566-71. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00068810. Epub 2010 Jul 22.


Agenesis of paranasal sinuses has only been described in case reports of patients with primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD). As agenesis of paranasal sinuses may contribute to low nasal nitric oxide levels, a common finding in PCD, we speculated that this condition might frequently occur in PCD patients. Patients referred for PCD evaluation were consecutively recruited for 30 months. In addition to standard diagnostic testing for PCD, a computed tomography (CT) scan of paranasal sinuses was performed in all subjects. 86 patients (46 children aged 8-17 yrs) were studied. PCD was diagnosed in 41 subjects and secondary ciliary dyskinesia (SCD) was diagnosed in the remaining 45 subjects. Frontal and/or sphenoidal sinuses were either aplastic or hypoplastic on CT scans in 30 (73%) out of 41 PCD patients, but in only 17 (38%) out of 45 with SCD (p = 0.002). There was a significant inverse correlation between the score for aplasia/hypoplasia of each paranasal sinus and nasal NO values in the PCD patients (p = 0.008, r = -0.432) but not in SCD (p = 0.07, r = -0.271). The findings of aplasia/hypoplasia of the frontal and or sphenoidal sinuses may be part of the spectrum of PCD and this finding should prompt exclusion of this condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Inflammation
  • Kartagener Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Kartagener Syndrome / pathology
  • Male
  • Maxillary Sinus / pathology
  • Nitric Oxide / chemistry*
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Paranasal Sinuses / abnormalities*
  • Paranasal Sinuses / diagnostic imaging
  • Paranasal Sinuses / pathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Nitric Oxide