Abnormalities of mucociliary function in the airways of patients with bronchial asthma are suggested by the clinical observation of excessive tracheobronchial secretions which are difficult to expectorate and may contribute to bronchial obstruction. Pathologic and functional studies in animals and patients have demonstrated an impairment of mucociliary transport mechanisms, but the pathogenesis of this abnormality is still poorly understood. In patients with allergic asthma, the elaboration of chemical mediators in the lung seems to depress mucociliary function. Although pharmacologic agents which increase mucous transport rates have been identified, more potent stimulators will probably be needed to produce a clinical improvement in patients with bronchial asthma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas