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The Effect of Inflammation on Mucociliary Clearance in Asthma*: An Overview

M. Del Donno, MD, FCCP; D. Bittesnich, MD; A. Chetta, MD, FCCP; D. Olivieri, MD, FCCP; M.T. Lopez-Vidriero, MD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Istituto di Clinica delle Malattie dell’Apparato Respiratorio (Drs. Del Donno, Bittesnich, Chetta, and Olivieri), Università di Parma, Parma, Italy; and Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd (Dr. Lopez-Vidriero), Bracknell, Berkshire, UK.

Correspondence to: Mario Del Donno, MD, FCCP, Istituto di Clinica delle Malattie dell’Apparato Respiratorio, Università di Parma, Padiglione Rasori, Via Rasori, 10 - 43100 Parma, Italy; e-mail: deldonno@unipr.it



Chest. 2000;118(4):1142-1149. doi:10.1378/chest.118.4.1142
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Mucociliary clearance (MCC) is one of the most important nonspecific defense mechanisms of the respiratory tract, and its impairment is a well-documented feature of chronic respiratory diseases, including asthma. Invitro and invivo data suggest that several inflammatory mediators influence the mucociliary apparatus. Epithelial damage and functional abnormalities have been described in bronchial asthma, along with changes in mucus-secreting cells and the chemical and rheological properties of airway fluid. Although the mechanisms of MCC impairment in asthma are not clearly understood, data in the recent literature suggest that airway inflammation plays a major role. In this article, we review studies on MCC alterations in light of up-to-date findings on pathogenetic mechanisms in asthma.

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