Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a rare genetic disorder that affects cilia, which are tiny, hair like structures that line the airways. When there are defects in the structure or function of cilia, mucus and bacteria can stay in the respiratory tract, causing frequent ear, sinus and lung infections.

What are signs and symptoms of PCD?

Children with PCD may experience:

  • Chronic cough
  • Chronic nasal congestion or sinus infections
  • Excess mucus
  • Recurrent cold symptoms
  • Recurrent middle ear infections
  • Recurrent pneumonia
  • Respiratory distress (breathing problems) in newborns

How is PCD diagnosed?

PCD can be difficult to diagnose, so children can often go misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. The two approved methods for diagnosing PCD are genetic testing and a biopsy of tissue from the nose or trachea. Screening tools like nasal nitric oxide testing may also be used to determine whether a child may have PCD. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is the only center in Georgia to offer nasal nitric oxide testing.

How is PCD treated?

Currently, there is no cure for PCD. However, treatment options are available to help control symptoms of the disorder. Our providers are also active in lung disorder research and can enroll interested patients in relevant clinical studies.

Providing pediatric expertise for children with PCD

Children’s is one of only a few hospitals in the Southeast with the pediatric expertise and tools to diagnose and treat children with PCD.

The Children’s Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Clinic is co-led by Jonathan Popler, MD , and Lokesh Guglani, MD, both pediatric pulmonologists at Children’s who work closely with other specialties, including otolaryngology (ENT), genetics and cardiology, to provide complete multidisciplinary care.

The Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Clinic is held at the Center for Advanced Pediatrics.

Center for Advanced Pediatrics
1400 Tullie Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30329