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Kartagener Syndrome

Kartagener Syndrome Causes

Kartagener Syndrome is genetically inherited. Ciliary structures can either be missing or just plainly unable to function properly. Dysfunction of the cilia takes place during the embryologic phase of development.

Kartagener Syndrome Definition

Kartagener syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disorder, which causes the cilia (tiny, hair-like structures) to be faulty or defective; thus prevent it from functioning properly. The cilia line the respiratory tract and fallopian tubes. It acts as the sweeper by brushing off all inhaled particles of dust, smoke, and other microbes out of the respiratory tract. Essentially, if the cilia are not functioning well, mucus and other inhaled germs will remain in the lungs, allowing the development of recurring infections in the lungs.

Kartagener Syndrome Diagnosis

Chest x-ray or CT scan has the ability to distinguish and identify essential properties of Kartagener syndrome. To monitor any dysfunction in the cilia, a biopsy on a sample tissue taken out of the tracheal lining would be beneficial in aiding diagnosis.

Kartagener Syndrome Symptoms and Signs

Majority of the symptoms produced by Kartagener syndrome are due to ineffective ciliary function which includes the following: * Recurring sinus infection * Poor sense of smell * Glue ear * Persistent infections involving the ear that causes loss of hearing * Chronic headaches and sometimes hydrocephalus * Lung infections like pneumonia and bronchitis that seems to be unrelieved * Frequent infections in the lung may result to severe lung damage (bronchiectasis) The most remarkable characteristic that can distinguish Kartagener syndrome among other syndromes is the internal organ reversal (situs inversus). In this condition, an organ that normally appears on the right is located on the left. For example, the heart will be on the right side of the chest, when its normal position should be on the left.

Kartagener Syndrome Treatment

Medical care of someone suffering from Kartagener syndrome is more on prevention of respiratory infections, and punctual treatment when it occurs.

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