Clinical relevance of tubulus anomalies and compound cilia

Acta Otolaryngol Suppl. 1997;529:140-3. doi: 10.3109/00016489709124106.

Abstract

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) from nasal mucosa and nasal mucociliary transport rate (MTR) with a radio-isotopic method were examined in 144 patients with various respiratory symptoms. Examinations were not performed during acute infections. In cases of increased amount of tubulus anomalies: nasal MTR was not significantly slower than in other patients, the disorientation of ciliary beat direction was significantly larger, there was no connection with increased amount of compound cilia and there was no correlation to any specific symptom or respiratory disease. In cases of increased amount of compound cilia: nasal MTR did not differ from other patients and the disorientation of ciliary beat direction did not differ from other patients. In a follow-up study of 76 patients 5-11 years (mean 9.3 years) later the amount of tubulus anomalies and compound cilia had changed in most patients. In patients with less symptoms at the follow-up than primarily, there was a non-significant tendency to have less tubulus anomalies, too, but no change in the amount of compound cilia. The amount of tubulus anomalies and compound cilia is not stable. Their number can either increase or decrease during a follow-up. Tubulus anomalies are non-specific and probably secondary changes of minor clinical importance and compound cilia would seem to be quite irrelevant findings in the ultrastructural evaluation of respiratory cilia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cilia / physiology
  • Cilia / ultrastructure*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Mucociliary Clearance*
  • Nasal Mucosa / ultrastructure*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / pathology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors