Kartagener's syndrome is a subset of primary ciliary dyskinesia, an autosomal recessive inherited disorder characterized by the clinical triad of chronic sinusitis, bronchiectasis, and situs inversus. Abnormal ciliary structure or function leading to impaired ciliary motility is the main pathophysiologic problem in Kartagener's syndrome.
A 24-year-old man from Gondar town, North-West Ethiopia, presented to University of Gondar Hospital with recurrent episodes of nasal congestion with itching and paranasal discomfort, and productive cough for more than a decade. Clinical and imaging findings revealed chronic sinusitis, bronchiectasis, dextrocardia, and situs inversus. He was treated with orally administered antibiotics, mucolytic, and chest physiotherapy. He was symptomatically better with the above therapy, and started on a long-term low-dose prophylactic antibiotic.
Patients with Kartagener's syndrome exist in Ethiopia as cases of chronic recurrent sinopulmonary infections. As there is no easy, reliable non-invasive diagnostic test for Kartagener's syndrome and the correct diagnosis is often delayed by years, it may cause chronic respiratory problems with reduced quality of life. Genetic counseling and fertility issues should be addressed once Kartagener's syndrome is diagnosed.