Introduction: There are no recent data on primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) distribution, diagnosis and treatment in Italy.
Methods: A descriptive study based on a survey questionnaire. It consisted of three sections (patients, diagnosis, and treatment), and sent to all the Italian PCD Centers.
Results: Questionnaires obtained from 20/22 centers in 12/20 regions showed that the total number of PCD patients treated at the participating centers was of 416. Out of all centers, 55% follow <20 patients, two centers have >40 patients, and 75% follow both pediatric and adults. Age at diagnosis was between 4 and 8 years in 45% of the centers, <3 years in three centers. Nasal nitric oxide, transmission electron microscopy and ciliary high-speed video microscopy are performed in 75%, 90%, and 40% of centers, respectively. Immunofluorescence is available in five centers. Genetic analysis is offered in 55% of the centers, and in seven centers >50% of the patients have a known genetic profile. Patients treated at all centers receive inhaled saline solutions, corticosteroids and chest physiotherapy. Prophylactic antibiotics and mucolytics are prescribed in 95% and 50% of the centers, respectively. Pseudomonas infection is treated with oral or inhaled antibiotics.
Conclusions: Many Italian centers care for a small number of pediatric and adult patients, and diagnosis is often delayed. We found a great variability in the available diagnostic procedures, as well in the prescribed therapies. Our study will help to uniform diagnostic algorithm and share treatments protocols for PCD in Italy and allowed to set specific national goals.
Keywords: children; diagnosis; management; primary ciliary dyskinesia; treatment.
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