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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2010 Jun;267(6):897-902. doi: 10.1007/s00405-009-1161-y. Epub 2009 Nov 19.

Automated software for analysis of ciliary beat frequency and metachronal wave orientation in primary ciliary dyskinesia.

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Interdepartmental Research Center E. Piaggio, Faculty of Engineering, University of Pisa, via Diotisalvi, 2, 56126 Pisa, Italy.


Patients with primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) have structural and/or functional alterations of cilia that imply deficits in mucociliary clearance and different respiratory pathologies. A useful indicator for the difficult diagnosis is the ciliary beat frequency (CBF) that is significantly lower in pathological cases than in physiological ones. The CBF computation is not rapid, therefore, the aim of this study is to propose an automated method to evaluate it directly from videos of ciliated cells. The cells are taken from inferior nasal turbinates and videos of ciliary movements are registered and eventually processed by the developed software. The software consists in the extraction of features from videos (written with C++ language) and the computation of the frequency (written with Matlab language). This system was tested both on the samples of nasal cavity and software models, and the results were really promising because in a few seconds, it can compute a reliable frequency if compared with that measured with visual methods. It is to be noticed that the reliability of the computation increases with the quality of acquisition system and especially with the sampling frequency. It is concluded that the developed software could be a useful mean for PCD diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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