Introduction. Mucociliary clearance is a vital defense mechanism in the human upper respiratory tract that safeguards the body against inhaled harmful substances. Ciliary activity was first discovered by Sharpey in 1835, and it took nearly a century for this function to be recognized as a central component in the physiology of the sinuses.
The aim of this study is to investigate the status of mucociliary clearance in patients with a nasal septum deviation and concomitant postnasal drip syndrome.
Materials and Methods: A total of 54 patients, aged between 23 and 55 years, were enrolled in the study. All participants underwent a saccharin test and an assessment of the motor activity of the ciliated epithelium. Exclusion criteria included the presence of infectious and inflammatory diseases of the upper respiratory tract within the last month.
Results: In the control group of patients, no significant difference was observed in the speed of saccharin test passage, both in the right and left parts of the nasal cavity, with test times ranging from 8.35 to 14.52 minutes. However, in the second clinical group comprising patients with nasal septum deviation, the average time for the saccharin test on the mucous membrane of the concave side of the nasal septum was significantly longer than on the convex side, measuring 21.52 ± 3.04 minutes and 12.36 ± 2.73 minutes, respectively (P = 0.02). When assessing the data from patients in the third clinical group based on the curvature side, a significant difference (P < 0.05) was observed in the reduction of saccharin test speed compared to the control group.
Conclusions: The data obtained indicate a significant influence of nasal septum deviation on subsequent changes in nasal cavity physiology, resulting in a slowdown of mucociliary clearance. This can lead to excessive mucus stagnation in the nasal cavity and, consequently, the development of postnasal drip syndrome.
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