Impairment of nasal mucociliary clearance during bone marrow transplantation

J. H. Sisson, E. C. Reed, R. A. Robbins, J. R. Anderson, F. P. Ogren, J. S. Diamond, S. I. Rennard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Transient mucositis occurs in almost all patients receiving bone marrow transplantation (BMT) but it is not known whether airway mucociliary transport is impaired during this period. We hypothesized that the preparative regimen associated with BMT impairs mucociliary clearance during the peri-transplant period. To test this hypothesis we determined nasal saccharine transit time (STT) and a mucositis score daily throughout the peri-transplant hospitalization in 13 patients receiving BMT. STT was prolonged in all patients at some time during the peri-transplant period and mucociliary clearance was ineffective in 12 of 13 patients for an average of 22% of the days. STT was most prolonged (about 155% of baseline) in the 2 week period following marrow infusion and correlated with the appearance of mucositis. STT returned to baseline values within 30 days after marrow infusion in all but one patient. These findings demonstrate that nasal mucociliary clearance is significantly impaired in most patients during BMT, if only temporarily. This decrease in local airway host defense may explain, in part, the increased risk of upper respiratory infections that these patients experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-633
Number of pages3
JournalBone marrow transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


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