Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2014 Mar;11(3):351-9. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201306-194OC.

The role of molecular genetic analysis in the diagnosis of primary ciliary dyskinesia.

Author information

1 Division of Clinical and Metabolic Genetics.



Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder of motile cilia. The diagnosis of PCD has previously relied on ciliary analysis with transmission electron microscopy or video microscopy. However, patients with PCD may have normal ultrastructural appearance, and ciliary analysis has limited accessibility. Alternatively, PCD can be diagnosed by demonstrating biallelic mutations in known PCD genes. Genetic testing is emerging as a diagnostic tool to complement ciliary analysis where interpretation and access may delay diagnosis.


To determine the diagnostic yield of genetic testing of patients with a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of PCD in a multiethnic urban center.


Twenty-eight individuals with confirmed PCD on transmission electron microscopy of ciliary ultrastructure and 24 individuals with a probable diagnosis of PCD based on a classical PCD phenotype and low nasal nitric oxide had molecular analysis of 12 genes associated with PCD.


Of 49 subjects who underwent ciliary biopsy, 28 (57%) were diagnosed with PCD through an ultrastructural defect. Of the 52 individuals who underwent molecular genetic analysis, 22 (42%) individuals had two mutations in known PCD genes. Twenty-four previously unreported mutations in known PCD genes were observed. Combining both diagnostic modalities of biopsy and molecular genetics, the diagnostic yield increased to 69% compared with 57% based on biopsy alone.


The diagnosis of PCD is challenging and has traditionally relied on ciliary biopsy, which is unreliable as the sole criterion for a definitive diagnosis. Molecular genetic analysis can be used as a complementary test to increase the diagnostic yield.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center