Objective: To examine the usefulness of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) measurements in detecting primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) in children.
Methods: This observational study was conducted at the Department of Pediatrics and Physiology, College of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from January 2011 to December 2011. The study population consisted of 22 children with symptoms suggestive of PCD and the diagnosis was confirmed by ciliary biopsy. Using the American Thoracic Society guidelines, measurements of FENO were performed in 22 subjects with proven PCD biopsies and in 11 healthy age-matched subjects.
Results: No significant differences were found on the basis of age or ventilatory function tests between the PCD patients and control groups. Fractional exhaled nitric oxide values were significantly lower in children with PCD (6.19+/-1.43) compared to control group (17.00+/-6.30) (CI: -14.854 to -5.927, p<0.0001). Rhinorrhea was seen in 7 (31.8%), recurrent acute otitis media in 16 (72.7%), chronic otitis media in 5 (22.7%), recurrent sinusitis in 5 (22.7%), chronic productive cough in 8 (36.4%), bronchospasm in 11 (50%), and dextrocardia in 3 (13.6%) subjects. There was no correlation between age, FENO, and ventilatory function parameters.
Conclusion: The measurement of FENO appears to be a useful tool for screening children for PCD. It can complement other tests such as nasal biopsy and electron microscopy studies.