, Volume 159, Issue 1, pp 27–34 | Cite as

Measurement of mucociliary clearance in smokers and nonsmokers using a bronchoscopic video-technical method

  • H. Toomes
  • I. Vogt-Moykopf
  • W. D. Heller
  • H. Ostertag


We used a bronchoscopic video-technical method to measure mucociliary clearance in vivo. 1-mm discs of polyethylene were placed on the tracheal mucosa. Their cephalad movement was recorded on video-tape via a videocamera adapted to the bronchoscope optic, and the mucous transport velocity was estimated. In 10 dogs the reproducibility of this method was demonstrated by measuring the mucociliary clearance twice at an interval of 7 days. Measurements performed in 10 smokers and 7 nonsmokers showed differences between the two groups. In nonsmokers the mean mucous transport velocity cephalad in the trachea was 18.5 mm/min and in smokers 6.8 mm/min. Since each measurement took only a few minutes this method can easily be used in connection with routine bronchoscopy. The advantages and shortcomings of the method are discussed.

Key words

Mucociliary clearance Video technical method Smokers Nonsmokers 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Toomes
    • 1
  • I. Vogt-Moykopf
    • 1
  • W. D. Heller
    • 2
  • H. Ostertag
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Thoracic SurgeryRohrbach HospitalHeidelberg
  2. 2.Department of StatisticsUniversity of KarlsruheKarlsruhe
  3. 3.German Cancer Research CenterInstitute of Nuclear MedicineHeidelbergFederal Republic of Germany

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