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Kartagener syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Dextrocardia bronchiectasis and sinusitis
  • Siewert syndrome
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What are the signs and symptoms of Kartagener syndrome?

Kartagener syndrome is characterized by the clinical triad of chronic sinusitis, bronchiectasis, and situs inversus.[1][2] Most children have chronic year-round cough, and chronic sinusitis and nasal congestion. These symptoms often persist into adulthood.[3] Recurrent chronic sinusitis may lead to sinus pressure headaches. Chronic bronchitis and recurrent pneumonia are also common.[2] Chronic/recurrent ear infections are apparent in most young children with Kartagener syndrome, but becomes less apparent by school age. In many infants and young children, chronic otitis media is associated with transient hearing loss that may affect speech development. If untreated, infections of the middle ear may result in irreversible hearing loss.[3][2]

Individuals also have situs inversus totalis, a mirror-image reversal of all organs. The reversed organs do not usually pose a problem.[1][3] Males with Kartagener syndrome may be infertile secondary to impaired sperm motility because the flagella of the sperm and cilia often (but not always) have the same defects.[3][2] Some women with Kartagener syndrome have normal fertility, but others have impaired fertility and an increased risk for ectopic pregnancy because of impaired ciliary function in the fallopian tubes.[3][4]
Last updated: 8/22/2011

  1. Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia. American Lung Association. 2011; Accessed 7/12/2011.
  2. Bent JP, Mosenifar Z. Kartagener Syndrome. eMedicine. April 2009; Accessed 7/12/2011.
  3. Zariwala MA, Knowles MR, Leigh MW. Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia. GeneReviews. October 6, 2009; Accessed 7/12/2011.
  4. Kartagener Syndrome. Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM). June 2011; Accessed 7/12/2011.