Kartagener syndrome - multisystem findings

Case contributed by Dr Abdel-Rahman Abdel-Halim


Recurrent chest infections, chronic productive cough.

Patient Data

Age: 25 years old
Gender: Female

CXR (PA view)  revealed: 

  • Right sided heart and gastric gas bubble with linear shadows seen at both lung fields (more evident at lower zones) suggestive of bronchiectasis.
  • Relative hyperinflated lungs.

CT chest (axial and coronal) revealed:

Situs inversus (right-sided heart, aorta, stomach, spleen and left-sided liver).

Bronchiectasis - tree in bud appearance (suggestive of superadded infection).


CT scanning of the paranasal sinuses revealed:

Bilateral maxillary and ethmoidal sinusitis, as well as sphenoidal sinusitis.

Bilateral oto-mastoiditis.

Illustrative diagram shows the classic findings of Kartegner Syndrome

Note: Ciliated epithelium covers most areas of the upper respiratory tract, including the nasal mucosa, paranasal sinuses, middle ear, eustachian tube, and pharynx. The lower respiratory tract contains ciliated epithelium from the trachea to the respiratory bronchioles.

Case Discussion

Typical case of Kartegener syndrome, including chest x-ray and CT studies as well as CT scanning of the paranasal sinuses.

The triad of situs inversus, bronchiectasis and sinusitis is clearly shown in this case.

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