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Cystic Fibrosis

Abstract

You are reading a NORD Rare Disease Report Abstract. NORD’s full collection of reports on over 1200 rare diseases is available to subscribers (click here for details). We are now also offering two full rare disease reports per day to visitors on our Web site.

NORD is very grateful to Ran D. Anbar, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, for assistance in the preparation of this report.

Synonyms of Cystic Fibrosis

  • CF
  • fibrocystic disease of pancreas
  • mucoviscidosis
  • pancreatic fibrosis

Disorder Subdivisions

  • No subdivisions found.

General Discussion

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that often affects multiple organ systems of the body. Cystic fibrosis is characterized by abnormalities affecting certain glands (exocrine) of the body especially those that produce mucus. Saliva and sweat glands may also be affected. Exocrine glands secrete substances through ducts, either internally (e.g., glands in the lungs) or externally (e.g., sweat glands). In cystic fibrosis, these secretions become abnormally thick and can clog up vital areas of the body causing inflammation, obstruction and infection. The symptoms of cystic fibrosis can vary greatly in number and severity from one individual to another. Common symptoms include breathing (respiratory) abnormalities including a persistent cough, shortness of breath and lung infections; obstruction of the pancreas, which prevents digestive enzymes from reaching the intestines to help break down food and may result in poor growth and poor nutrition; and obstruction of the intestines. Cystic fibrosis is slowly progressive and often causes chronic lung damage, which eventually results in life-threatening complications. Because of improved treatments and new treatment options, the outlook and overall quality of life of individuals with cystic fibrosis has improved and nearly 50 percent of individuals with the disorder are adults. Cystic fibrosis is caused by mutations to the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene and is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.

Cystic Fibrosis Resources

Please note that some of these organizations may provide information concerning certain conditions potentially associated with this disorder.

Organizations:

The information in NORD’s Rare Disease Database is for educational purposes only. It should never be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes. If you have questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. NORD’s reports provide a brief overview of rare diseases. For more specific information, we encourage you to contact your personal physician or the agencies listed as “Resources” on this report.

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