Comparison of ciliary wave disorders measured by image analysis and electron microscopy

Chul Hee Lee*, Seung Sin Lee, Ji Hun Mo, In Sang Kim, Song Hwa Quan, Sun Young Wang, Won Jin Yi, Chae Seo Rhee, Yang Gi Min

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Conclusion. We have developed a simple, reliable method for the simultaneous determination of the ciliary wave disorder (CWD) and ciliary beat frequency (CBF) of actively beating cilia. Objective. The CBF and the directions of beating cilia are two important components of mucociliary transport. Although lots of studies have been performed on the measurement of the CBF, there have been few studies on the direction of cilia, with the exception of those using electron microscopy (EM). EM takes too long to determine the directions of cilia, and it cannot determine the direction of actively beating cilia. The aim of this study was to develop an image analysis (IA) system to conveniently determine the wave directions of multiple actively beating cilia as well as the CBF. Material and methods. Sphenoid sinus mucosae obtained from 10 patients undergoing pituitary tumor removal via a trans-septal trans-sphenoidal approach were divided into two 4 × 4 mm2-sized pieces. One piece was studied using IA, the other with EM. Using IA, ciliary wave directions were determined from 5 20 × 20 μm2 regions of interest and the mean of 5 consecutive values was regarded as the CWD of each sample. The CBF was also measured. CWD was also measured using EM. Results. The average number of cilia analyzed by EM was 102.50 (range 48-136). The mean CWDs determined using IA and EM were 28.25 ± 4.84° and 23.59 ± 8.16°, respectively. There was a significant correlation between the CWDs determined using these two methods (Spearman's correlation coefficient = 0.648; p = 0.043). The mean CBF of sphenoid mucosa was 10.50 ± 2.20 Hz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-576
Number of pages6
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cilia
  • Ciliary beat frequency
  • Ciliary wave disorder
  • Electron microscopy
  • Image analysis system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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