Kartagener’s syndrome is a hereditary syndrome. It is characterized by recurrent upper - and lower-respiratory tract infections due to abnormal ciliary structure and function. This disease is also known as immotile cilia syndrome. Its main characteristic is that the ciliated hair cells on the mucous membranes have impaired movement and therefore can not clear the mucus in the sinuses. Patients with Kartagener’s syndrome also suffer from bronchiectasis, chronic sinusitis, situs inversus (the organs are situated on the opposite side from where they are supposed to be), and sterility (because of immotile sperm).
If you have Kartagener’s syndrome, you may have experienced chronic, thick, mucus production and an impaired sense of smell since early childhood. Nasal polyps occur in 30 percent of affected individuals. The recurrent chronic sinusitis typically produces sinus pressure headaches over the frontal or maxillary sinuses and around the eyes. You may experience several sinus infections a year that improve with antibiotic therapy but continue to recur.
Treatment is aimed at reducing symptoms and slowing disease progression. This includes antibiotics, steroid nasal sprays, and frequent nasal irrigation.