American journal of rhinology vol:12 issue:1 pages:53-8
Mucociliary transport is one of the most important defense mechanisms of the airway. Mucociliary transport time or rate, as measured using the saccharin test or the radioisotope technique, respectively, is clinically the most relevant parameter, although subject to large intra- and interindividual variability. There is no correlation between mucociliary transport in vivo and ciliary beat frequency ex vivo. Preliminary evidence demonstrates that mucociliary transport correlates with ciliary structure and orientation as investigated with transmission and scanning electron microscopy. A correlation is presented between ciliary beat frequency and secondary ciliary abnormalities. This correlation can best be described according to the logistic sigmoid model (r = 0.69). Based on these functional data, an ultrastructural distinction is proposed among normal (less than 5%), light (5 to 15%), moderate (15 to 25%), and severe (more than 25%) secondary ciliary dyskinesia.