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Another Bestcilia publication in ERS Journal: PICADAR, practical tool to aid referral for PCD diagnostic tests

The many challenges in PCD diagnostics are currently being thoroughly explored by Bestcilia participants and partners, raising awareness of the obstacles involved in these procedures. Researchers from the University of Southampton (WP4) have recently issued yet another important publication, revolving around PICADAR (PrImary CiliARy DyskinesiA Rule): their state-of-the-art, practical predictive tool for PCD diagnostics. The significance of the article was recognized by ERS Journal, one of the most prestigious publishers in the field.

Diagnosing PCD poses many problems due to limited guidance and lack of representative international data. The methods used at present require specialized staff and expensive infrastructure. This is coupled with low physician awareness; general specialists often fail to properly refer patients with chronic chest symptoms for PCD diagnostic testing, which leads to many missed diagnoses. In an attempt to address these issues, the study conducted by the researchers from Southampton aimed to develop a practical diagnostic tool that could be used outside specialized diagnostic centers by general respiratory and ear, nose and throat specialists.

The team from Southampton utilized easily accessible clinical data from 641 consecutive patients referred to the University Southampton Hospital. The data was collected through a proforma, completed by a clinician before the diagnostic test. The researchers selected seven significant predictors of PCD, including situs inversus, birth at full term, neonatal chest symptoms as well as ear and hearing symptoms. Based on that readily available information, the team has created PICADAR, the first validated tool to aid physicians in referring patients for PCD diagnostic testing. 

The overall accuracy of PICADAR (validated externally by another PCD diagnostic center) in identifying PCD sufferers was as high as 90%. This is comparable to tests using nNO measures, but it has a crucial advantage over such methods, as it is simpler and more cost-effective. More importantly, it is a viable option for use outside diagnostic centers. It will greatly aid general respiratory specialists in appropriate referral and thus likely translate into an increased number of PCD diagnoses.

Full article is available here.