What is cystic fibrosis (CF)?

Updated: Oct 22, 2019
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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Answer

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a disease of exocrine gland function that involves multiple organ systems but chiefly results in chronic respiratory infections, pancreatic enzyme insufficiency, and associated complications in untreated patients. Pulmonary involvement (see the image below) occurs in 90% of patients surviving the neonatal period. End-stage lung disease is the principal cause of death.

Chest radiograph of a patient with advanced cystic Chest radiograph of a patient with advanced cystic fibrosis. Note marked hyperinflation, peribronchial thickening, and bilateral infiltrates with evidence of bronchiectasis especially of the upper lobes.

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