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Am J Rhinol. 2002 Jan-Feb;16(1):25-31.

Topical antibiotic, antifungal, and antiseptic solutions decrease ciliary activity in nasal respiratory cells.

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Department of Otolaryngology, University of Mainz, School of Medicine, Germany.


This study was designed to investigate whether topical solutions, as they are used in the treatment of selected cases of rhinosinusitis, influence nasal mucociliary clearance. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of the following topical solutions on the ciliary beat frequency (CBF) of nasal respiratory cells: ofloxacin as an antibiotic; Betadine and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as antiseptic; and amphotericin B, itraconazole, and clotrimazole as antifungal solutions. Differences are described between effects of each of these substances and we clarify whether ciliotoxic effects are dose dependent and if they can be reduced or eliminated by diluting the concentration of the applied solution. In a prospective study, nasal respiratory cells were harvested from healthy individuals and CBF was measured while cells were perfused with cell culture medium and the respective topical solution, using a Dvorak/Stotler exposure chamber. Controls were perfused with cell culture medium only. Video interference contrast microscopy was used to monitor CBF. A decrease of CBF occurred after application of all topical solutions used in this study. Except for clotrimazole, all solutions showed significantly stronger effects at high concentrations compared with diluted solutions. Our results indicate that topical application of antifungal, antibiotic, and antiseptic solutions may cause a marked impairment of mucociliary clearance. The strong dose dependence of these ciliotoxic effects indicates the need for a careful selection of the adequate concentration when using topical treatment in the nose.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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