Nasal Mucociliary Clearance in Prolonged Tracheostomy Patients: A Prospective Case–Control Study

Prerit Rao, Rohit Singh, R. Balakrishnan, Dipak Ranjan Nayak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prolonged tracheostomy bypasses the upper airways leading to absence or reduction of nasal airflow. This altered nasal physiology not only impairs olfaction but also may cause mucociliary dysfunction and consequent nasal crusting and rhinosinusitis.To objectively evaluate the extent of nasal mucociliary impairment in patients with prolonged duration of tracheostomy.This is a prospective case–control study done in a tertiary care center wherein the nasal mucocilary function was assessed by saccharin test in patients who were tracheostomized for a period of more than 4 weeks and the saccharin transit time (time taken to appreciate the sweet taste after endoscopic insertion of saccharin pellet on anterior end of inferior turbinate) was compared by the same test in age and sex matched healthy individuals. The saccharin transit time in the two groups was statistically analyzed using student t-test. Mean saccharin transit time in 30 patients with prolonged tracheostomy was 934.97 s with a standard deviation of 75.95 s whereas in 30 controls, the meantime was 447.4 s with a standard deviation of 63.22 s, which was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Conclusion Prolonged duration of tracheostomy leads to impaired nasal mucociliary clearance, which in turn could cause chronic rhinosinusitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1552-1555
Number of pages4
JournalIndian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 10-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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