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Kartagener's Syndrome

What is Kartagener's Syndrome?

Kartagener's Syndrome is a chronic lung disease that occurs when cilia are unable to move. Kartagener's Syndrome is a rare genetic birth defect. Individuals with Kartagener's Syndrome have abnormal or absent ciliary motion.

Kartagener's Syndrome is also called Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia, and Immotile Cilia Syndrome, Afzelius’ syndrome, Kartagener’s triad, Zivert's syndrome, and Zivert-Kartagener triad.

 

What are Cilia?

Cilia are tiny hair-like structures that are present on the surfaces of many different types of cells. One of the functions of cilia is to move mucus out of the respiratory passages. During infections more mucus is produced and because the abnormal cilia can't move or move ineffectively, mucus becomes stuck and blocks the respiratory tract, causing various complications.

What Causes Kartagener's Syndrome?

Kartagener's syndrome is caused by a ciliary defect. Most people with Kartagener's Syndrome are born with it.

Symptoms of Kartagener's Syndrome

Some common symptoms of Kartagener's syndrome:

Can Kartagener's Syndrome be treated?

Yes. Treatment is aimed at reducing symptoms and slowing disease progression.

Complications of Kartagener's Syndrome

Some complications of Kartagener's Syndrome are:

  • Bronchiectasis. Bronchiectasis occurs when the bronchial tubes are blocked and chronically infected, causing the tubes to weaken and stretch out. The widened tubes allow more mucus and bacteria to accumulate, leading to infection and possibly pneumonia.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Chronic wheezing, coughing.

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