The goal of the study was to evaluate the incidence of primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) in children suffering from recurrent respiratory tract infections (RRIs) by means of noninvasive method. Respiratory ciliated cells were collected by nasal brushing in 118 children (4.6 +/- 2.5 years) with RRIs. The ciliary beat frequency (CBF) was measured with a stroboscopic method, and when the CBF was abnormal, the ciliary ultrastructure was analyzed by a quantitative method. The CBF could be measured in 106 patients (90%) and was abnormal in 15 patients. The ciliary ultrastructure was found to be abnormal in 11 of 15 patients: PCD was diagnosed in 6 cases, and acquired ciliary defects were observed in the remaining 5 patients. Our conclusion, that PCD is rare but net exceptional (5.6%) in children with RRIs, justifies the systematic investigation of ciliated cells in such patients. For this purpose, nasal brushing can be used to sample ciliated cells even in young children.