What is the role of ciliary function in the pathogenesis of sinusitis (sinus infection)?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Itzhak Brook, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Contrary to earlier models of sinus physiology, the drainage patterns of the paranasal sinuses depend not on gravity but on the mucociliary transport mechanism. The metachronous coordination of the ciliated columnar epithelial cells propels the sinus contents toward the natural sinus ostia. Any disruption of the ciliary function results in fluid accumulation within the sinus. Poor ciliary function can result from the loss of ciliated epithelial cells; high airflow; viral, bacterial, or environmental ciliotoxins; inflammatory mediators; contact between 2 mucosal surfaces; scars; and Kartagener syndrome. [14]


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