Background and aims: We tested the hypothesis that the actual or predicted consequences of mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator gene correlate with the pancreatic phenotype and with measures of quantitative exocrine pancreatic function.
Methods: We assessed 742 patients with cystic fibrosis for whom genotype and clinical data were available. At diagnosis, 610 were pancreatic insufficient, 110 were pancreatic sufficient, and 22 pancreatic sufficient patients progressed to pancreatic insufficiency after diagnosis.
Results: We identified mutations on both alleles in 633 patients (85.3%), on one allele in 95 (12.8%), and on neither allele in 14 (1.9%). Seventy six different mutations were identified. The most common mutation was ΔF508 (71.3%) followed by G551D (2.9%), G542X (2.3%), 621+1G→T (1.2%), and W1282X (1.2%). Patients were categorized into five classes according to the predicted functional consequences of each mutation. Over 95% of patients with severe class I, II, and III mutations were pancreatic insufficient or progressed to pancreatic insufficiency. In contrast, patients with mild class IV and V mutations were consistently pancreatic sufficient. In all but four cases each genotype correlated exclusively with the pancreatic phenotype. Quantitative data of acinar and ductular secretion were available in 93 patients. Patients with mutations belonging to classes I, II, and III had greatly reduced acinar and ductular function compared with those with class IV or V mutations.
Conclusion: The predicted or known functional consequences of specific mutant alleles correlate with the severity of pancreatic disease in cystic fibrosis.
cystic fibrosis; cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator; pancreatic insufficiency; pancreas
Patients with cystic fibrosis have been found to have abnormal serum concentrations of immunoreactive trypsin and abnormal activities of pancreatic isoamylase. A study was undertaken to discover whether activity of pancreatic lipase is also altered in cystic fibrosis. Serum from 23 patients with cystic fibrosis was assayed for immunoreactive trypsin and pancreatic lipase. Median serum pancreatic lipase activity was significantly lower in patients with cystic fibrosis than in controls, as was immunoreactive trypsin concentration (p less than 0.0001). Some patients had supranormal lipase concentrations but these were not always associated with absence of malabsorption. Serum pancreatic lipase activity is considerably changed in cystic fibrosis.
Recent studies suggest an important role of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene in the development of pancreatitis. It occurs approximately in 20% of patients with cystic fibrosis and almost exclusively in pancreatic sufficient people. Newborn screening and improved panels of deoxyribonucleic acid mutation analysis techniques are revealing more rare and nonclassical pictures of the disease, generally associated with pancreatic sufficiency and with an increased risk of developing pancreatitis. Mutations R1438 and Y1032 are considered rare mutations, and, when singularly associated with ∆F508, lead to a mild phenotype with pancreatic sufficiency and no detectable respiratory involvement.
We present the case of a Caucasian girl, aged six years, whose genotype was characterized by three different mutations ∆F508, R1438W and Y1032C, never reported, together, in the same patient. She presented with a positive immunoreactive trypsinogen screening, a borderline sweat test, and, in the first years, a favorable pulmonary course, and pancreatic sufficiency. At the age of six years, she presented with a sudden episode of acute abdominal pain, anorexia and fever. A diagnosis of pancreatitis was made after clinical and laboratory examinations. Venous rehydration, bowel rest and therapy with ursodeoxycholic acid resulted in complete remission.
The treatment was successful, with normalization of her symptoms and laboratory parameters within four weeks.
There has been a vast expansion in the understanding of the wide range of phenotypes associated with cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator dysfunction since the discovery of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene. The genotype-phenotype correlation in pancreatitis is rare compared to other organ manifestations, since this is seen almost exclusively among pancreatic sufficient patients with cystic fibrosis. Our study supports that compound heterozygosis ∆F508-R1438W/Y1032C is a 'cystic fibrosis-causing genotype' characterized by an immunoreactive trypsinogen positive screening, abnormal sweat chloride testing, and pancreatic sufficiency, with an increased risk of acute pancreatitis at an early age.
Pancreatitis; Cystic fibrosis; CFTR; ∆F508-R1438W and Y1032C; Mild phenotype
The incidence of cystic fibrosis over the last 10 years in East Anglia (a region of the United Kingdom with a population of 2.1 million) has halved. This has happened during the establishment of a neonatal screening programme, which has enabled early diagnosis, genetic counselling, and lately the option of prenatal diagnosis in subsequent pregnancies. One hundred and seven children were born with cystic fibrosis between 1981 and 1990, eight of whom were siblings. The Guthrie blood spots of 82 infants detected by neonatal immunoreactive trypsin screening between 1981 and 1990 were examined for the presence of the most common cystic fibrosis gene mutation (delta F508). It was present in 135 (82%) of the 164 cystic fibrosis genes analysed with 54 (66%) cases being homozygous and 27 (33%) heterozygous. Sixty nine per cent of infants were symptomatic at the time of diagnosis regardless of genotype. No association was found between the early clinical or biochemical features of the disease and homozygosity or heterozygosity for this mutation. Screening for cystic fibrosis using the blood immunoreactive trypsin assay alone remains an effective method of identifying infants with the disease soon after birth, thereby allowing early therapeutic intervention. Genetic counselling and prenatal diagnosis have contributed to a reduction in the number of children born with cystic fibrosis, but may not entirely explain the decreasing incidence of the disease.
Pancreatic lipase catalyses the hydrolysis of emulsified triglycerides to form a transparent solution of monoglycerides and fatty acids. Levels of serum pancreatic lipase were measured in neonates known to have cystic fibrosis and compared with levels in control infants. During the first weeks of life infants with cystic fibrosis had raised serum pancreatic lipase values in parallel with raised serum trypsin values. A simple and specific turbidimetric dried blood spot assay for serum pancreatic lipase was used as a screening test fo cystic fibrosis in the neonate.
All newborn infants in East Anglia are screened for cystic fibrosis by blood immunoreactive trypsin assay at 7 days. Thirty eight infants with cystic fibrosis were randomised to treatment with either continuous oral flucloxacillin 250 mg/day (group P, n = 18) or with episodic antimicrobials as clinically indicated (group E, n = 20). Their progress was monitored from diagnosis to 24 months by a nurse coordinator who visited all infants regularly, at home and in hospital, to collect anthropometric, dietary, clinical, and microbiological data. Mean (range) age of confirmation of diagnosis was 5.7 weeks (1-14 weeks). There was no significant difference in birth weight, genotype, immunoreactive trypsin concentration, neonatal history, symptoms at diagnosis, pancreatic enzyme supplementation, or parental smoking history between the groups. Infants in group E had more frequent cough and a greater number of Staphylococcus aureus isolates than infants in group P. More infants of group E were admitted to hospital, had higher admission rates during the second year (19 v 5), for longer periods (6.4 v 2.2 days), despite receiving more than double the number of courses of antibiotics than group P infants (in addition to flucloxacillin). Continuous prophylactic flucloxacillin from early diagnosis of cystic fibrosis is associated with improved clinical progress during the first two years of life.
In view of the possible relation between pancreatic function and cystic fibrosis (CF) gene mutations, a detailed study on Italian patients was performed. Seventy pancreatic insufficient and 48 pancreatic sufficient patients were included after very accurate characterisation of their pancreatic and digestive function, all performed in the same CF centre. The CF gene deletion F508 was tested to define the patients' genotypes. The results confirm that the mutation correlates with pancreatic insufficiency, and is recessive to other, as yet unreported, mutant alleles that determine pancreatic sufficiency. An indication that duodenal bicarbonate output is more severely reduced in the presence of deletion F508 is also presented. The data are discussed in relation to a hypothesis on the primary effects of CF gene deletion F508.
Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) is the only treatment for malabsorption in cystic fibrosis (CF) caused by pancreatic insufficiency (PI). PI occurs in approximately 85% of patients with CF. PERT overcomes some, but not all the signs and symptoms of malabsorption. Clinical parameters such as growth, abdominal pain, diarrhea and gassiness, commonly used to adjust PERT dosing, are shown not to be good indicators of their effectiveness. The FDA does not provide oversight of preparations of pancreatic enzymes consistent with the oversight it provides for all other drugs. The FDA intends to rectify this situation. Measures of the effectiveness of PERT are limited to the coefficient of fat absorption, a difficult and unpleasant exercise for patients.
pancrelipase; cystic fibrosis; malabsorption; pancreatic enzymes
Pancreatic exocrine insufficiency (PEI) is often observed in patients with pancreatic diseases, including chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, and tumors, or after surgical resection. PEI often results in malnutrition, weight loss and steatorrhea, which together increase the risk of morbidity and mortality. Therefore, nutritional interventions, such as low-fat diets and pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT), are needed to improve the clinical symptoms, and to address the pathophysiology of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. PERT with delayed-release pancrelipase is now becoming a standard therapy for pancreatic exocrine insufficiency because it significantly improves the coefficients of fat and nitrogen absorption as well as clinical symptoms, without serious treatment-emergent adverse events. The major adverse events were tolerable gastrointestinal tract symptoms, such as stomach pain, nausea, and bloating. Fibrosing colonopathy, a serious complication, is associated with high doses of enzymes. Several pancrelipase products have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in recent years. Although many double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of pancrelipase products have been conducted in recent years, these studies have enrolled relatively few patients and have often been less than a few weeks in duration. Moreover, few studies have addressed the issue of pancreatic diabetes, a type of diabetes that is characterized by frequent hypoglycemia, which is difficult to manage. In addition, it is unclear whether PERT improves morbidity and mortality in such settings. Therefore, large, long-term prospective studies are needed to identify the optimal treatment for pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. The studies should also examine the extent to which PERT using pancrelipase improves mortality and morbidity. The etiology and severity of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency often differ among patients with gastrointestinal diseases or diabetes (type 1 and type 2), and among elderly subjects. Finally, although there is currently limited clinical evidence, numerous extrapancreatic diseases and conditions that are highly prevalent in the general population may also be considered potential targets for PERT and related treatments.
pancreatic exocrine insufficiency; chronic pancreatitis; pancreatic diabetes; steatorrhea; pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy; extrapancreatic diseases
BACKGROUND—An increased risk of chronic pancreatitis has been described among carriers of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) mutation. In addition, patients with cystic fibrosis may have a higher risk of exocrine pancreatic cancer.
AIMS—To determine the prevalence of the ΔF508 mutation and 5T allele, the most common CFTR disease related variants, and to assess their association with lifestyle factors in an unselected series of patients with chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.
SUBJECTS—Patients recruited to the multicentre PANKRAS II study with a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer from whom normal DNA was available.
METHODS—The ΔF508 mutation and 5T allele were analysed using polymerase chain reaction amplified normal DNA. Information on clinical and lifestyle factors was obtained through personal interviews.
RESULTS—Among patients with pancreatitis, no ΔF508 alleles were found and the prevalence of the 5T allele was 10.5%, similar to that described in the general population. Among patients with pancreatic cancer, the prevalence of the ΔF508 mutation and the 5T allele was 2.4% and 5.5%, respectively. 5T allele carriers with cancer consumed significantly less alcohol than non-carriers (p=0.038).
CONCLUSIONS—Our findings do not support the view that the ΔF508 mutation and 5T allele confer a higher risk of chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer. Nevertheless, our data suggest that interactions between CFTR polymorphism and environmental factors may play a role in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Our study emphasises the need for a multinational study to conclusively establish the role of CFTR variants as genetic susceptibility factors for chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
Keywords: cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator gene; ΔF508 mutation; 5T allele; genetic susceptibility; chronic pancreatitis; pancreatic cancer
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive disease that is very rare in Asians: only a few cases have been reported in Korea. We treated a female infant with CF who had steatorrhea and failure to thrive. Her sweat chloride concentration was 102.0 mM/L. Genetic analysis identified two novel mutations including a splice site mutation (c.1766+2T>C) and a frameshift mutation (c.3908dupA; Asn1303LysfsX6). Pancreatic enzyme replacement and fat-soluble vitamin supplementation enabled the patient to get a catch-up growth. This is the first report of a Korean patient with CF demonstrating pancreatic insufficiency. CF should therefore be considered in the differential diagnosis of infants with steatorrhea and failure to thrive.
Cystic Fibrosis; Cystic Fibrosis Conductance Regulator; Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency; Mutation
In order to define basic biliary defects not related to steatorrhoea in cystic fibrosis, we studied 12 control and 18 cystic fibrosis subjects, with a wide range of pancreatic function. Duodenal aspirates were collected over three consecutive 20 minute periods, during continuous intravenous infusion of cholecystokinin and secretin using a marker perfusion technique, and analysed for pancreatic enzyme output (colipase, lipase, trypsin), bile acid output and concentration, and biliary lipids. Cystic fibrosis patients, at all levels of pancreatic function, had significantly reduced total bile acid output (mumol/kg/h) with delayed appearance of the bile acid peak, compared with control subjects. Actual duodenal bile acid concentrations were significantly higher in cystic fibrosis subjects than in controls, however, probably because of the markedly reduced water output shown in these patients. The lithogenic index was not raised in cystic fibrosis patients at any level of pancreatic function. The reduced bile acid output and the delayed peak appearance probably reflect a defect in gall bladder responsiveness which is independent of pancreatic function and steatorrhoea. Whether this defect is related to gall bladder filling or a defective peptide hormone response awaits further study.
The “gold standard” for the diagnosis of fat malabsorption, the 72 hour fat balance study, requires a three day collection to generate a coefficient of fat absorption (CFA). We hypothesized that, a new test using behenic acid (behenate test) as a nonabsorbable lipid marker may provide a facile means to assess fat absorption. The study proposed to answer two questions: 1) whether the “behenate test” correlated with the “gold standard” and 2) whether the CFA improved when taking pancreatic enzymes during meals instead of prior to them.
The study compared the “behenate test” with the gold standard in 15 cystic fibrosis patients during three arms which require 3–4 day hospitalizations: one taking pancreatic enzymes prior to meals, one taking pancreatic enzymes during meals, and one off of pancreatic enzymes.
The mean CFA was 78.3% when pancreatic enzymes were taken during meals and 80.4% when pancreatic enzymes were taken prior to meals. Correlation between the CFA and the “behenate test” for collections during all 3 arms was r2 = 0.219 (p= 0.001).
1) Timing of ingestion of pancreatic enzymes does not significantly alter the CFA. 2) Although the CFA correlates with the “behenate test”, the correlation is not robust enough to justify its replacement of the “gold standard.” It is unclear whether the poor correlation between tests relates to intermeal variability in fat excretion,or other factors; however the “behenate test” may be suitable as a screening test for detection of fat malabsorption.
malabsorption; stool; cystic fibrosis; CFA
Previous reports have indicated that cystic fibrosis (CF) patients with pancreatic enzyme insufficiency have a raised faecal bile acid output. In this study, 18 out of 29 CF patients and 2 out of the 4 non-CF patients with pancreatic enzyme insufficiency had raised faecal bile acid levels. In the CF patients no correlation was found between faecal bile acid and faecal fat excretion, but an inverse relation was shown between faecal bile acid values and age. Those CF patients with overt liver disease tended to have the lowest faecal bile acid values.
Duodenal aspiration in 5 CF patients and in one non-CF patient with pancreatic enzyme insufficiency (Shwachman-Diamond syndrome), produced very small fluid volumes. Duodenal fluid mean total bile acid concentrations were within normal limits. Estimation of serum bile acids in these 6 patients showed that 3 patients had raised serum bile acid values.
It is suggested that excessive chronic faecal bile acid loss may produce a contraction of the bile acid pool, and lead eventually to a reduction of intraduodenal bile acid concentrations. Measures which curtail faecal bile acid loss may have a particular significance in the management of CF.
Background. Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy is the standard of care for treatment of malabsorption in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (PI). Aim. To evaluate efficacy and safety of a new formulation of pancrelipase (Ultrase MT20) in patients with CF and PI. Coefficients of fat absorption (CFA%) and nitrogen absorption (CNA%) were the main efficacy parameters. Safety was evaluated by monitoring laboratory analyses, adverse events (AEs), and overall signs and symptoms. Methods. Patients (n = 31) were randomized in a crossover design comparing this pancrelipase with placebo during 2 inpatient evaluation periods (6-7 days each). Fat and protein/nitrogen ingestion and excretion were measured from food diaries and 72-hour stool collections. CFA% and CNA% were calculated for each period and compared. Results. Twenty-four patients provided analyzable data. This pancrelipase increased mean CFA% and CNA% (+34.7% and +25.7%, resp., P < .0001 for both), reduced stool frequency, and improved stool consistency compared with placebo. Placebo-treated patients reported more AEs, with gastrointestinal symptoms being the most frequently reported AE. Conclusions. This pancrelipase is a safe and effective treatment for malabsorption associated with exocrine PI in patients with CF.
Cystic fibrosis is an autosomal recessive disease typically diagnosed in early childhood secondary to pulmonary manifestations. We present the unusual case of a 20-year-old man being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis after he was incidentally noted to have an atrophic pancreas on magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography. He had no sign of chronic pancreatitis or symptoms of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. As pancreatic atrophy is rare in young adults, the patient was evaluated for cystic fibrosis by genetic testing and the patient was noted to have the deltaF508 and p.R347L mutations of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane receptor. The patient was counseled on the implications of these findings for his potential children, but no treatment was undertaken at this time.
atrophic pancreas; pancreatic atrophy; cystic fibrosis; pancreatitis; epigastric pain; MRCP; cystic fibrosis transmembrane receptor
OBJECTIVE--To assess the performance and impact of a two tier neonatal screening programme for cystic fibrosis based on an initial estimation of immunoreactive trypsinogen followed by direct gene analysis. DESIGN--Four year prospective study of two tier screening strategy. First tier: immunoreactive trypsinogen measured in dried blood spot samples from neonates aged 3-5 days. Second tier: direct gene analysis of cystic fibrosis mutations (delta F508, delta I506, G551D, G542X, and R553X) in samples with immunoreactive trypsinogen concentrations in highest 1% and in all neonates with meconium ileus or family history of cystic fibrosis. SETTING--South Australian Neonatal Screening Programme, Adelaide. SUBJECTS--All 88,752 neonates born in South Australia between December 1989 and December 1993. INTERVENTIONS--Neonates with two identifiable mutations were referred directly for clinical assessment and confirmatory sweat test; infants with only one identifiable mutation were recalled for sweat test at age 3-4 weeks. Parents of neonates identified as carriers of cystic fibrosis mutation were counselled and offered genetic testing. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Identification of all children with cystic fibrosis in the screened population. RESULTS--Of 1004 (1.13%) neonates with immunoreactive trypsinogen > or = 99th centile, 912 (90.8%) had no identifiable mutation. 23 neonates were homozygotes or compound heterozygotes; 69 carried one identifiable mutation, of whom six had positive sweat tests. Median age at clinical assessment for the 29 neonates with cystic fibrosis was 3 weeks; six had meconium ileus and two had affected siblings. 63 neonates were identified as carriers of a cystic fibrosis mutation. Extra laboratory costs for measuring immunoreactive trypsinogen and direct gene analysis were $A1.50 per neonate screened. CONCLUSION--This strategy results in early and accurate diagnosis of cystic fibrosis and performs better than screening strategies based on immunoreactive trypsinogen measurement alone.
Fifteen patients with cystic fibrosis and pancreatic insufficiency were studied during four randomised seven day treatment periods in which they received only pancreatic supplement (Pancrelipase, 27 capsules per day) or supplement plus cimetidine (20 mg/kg body weight/24 h) or sodium bicarbonate (15 g/m2/24 h) alone or in combination. Dietary intake was not fixed but was restricted to foods of known fat and nitrogen content from which daily intakes could be computed. Faecal fat and nitrogen were calculated as g/24 h and percentage of intake. Addition of either cimetidine or bicarbonate resulted in significant improvement in fat and nitrogen excretion, which was not greater with the combination of both drugs. Cimetidine and sodium bicarbonate in these doses are therefore sufficient to produce maximal improvement in digestive activity of pancreatic supplements. Fat excretion per gram of intake fell with cimetidine and bicarbonate from 12 times the normal level, to normal, in patients consuming less than 120 g fat daily. Above this intake the dose of pancreatic supplement appeared to be inadequate. Faecal nitrogen excretion increased with nitrogen intake in all four periods, but, in contrast with fat excretion, the response to cimetidine and bicarbonate was not affected by the level of intake. Dietary intake appears to be a significant factor in determining the faecal output of fat and nitrogen in patients with pancreatic insufficiency and should be considered when determining the optimum amount of pancreatic supplementation.
Recent discoveries of trypsinogen and trypsin inhibitor mutations in patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP) support the hypothesis that an inappropriate activation of pancreatic zymogens to active enzymes within the pancreatic parenchyma starts the inflammatory process. Current data suggest that CP may be inherited dominant, recessive, or complex as a result of mutations in the above mentioned or yet unidentified genes. Evaluation of patients with CP should include genetic testing. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive inherited disorder caused by mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene and is characterised by pancreatic insufficiency and chronic bronchopulmonary infection. The progression and severity of pulmonary disease differs considerably between people with identical CFTR mutations and does not seem to correlate with the type or class of the CFTR mutation. The identification of further disease modifying genetic factors will increase the pathophysiological understanding and may help to identify new therapeutic targets.
We have measured serum immunoreactive trypsin (IRT) and serum pancreatic isoamylase (PIA) activities using commercially available kits in 37 cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and 46 hospital controls of similar age range. Immunoreactive trypsin was more often abnormal than PIA (26/37 v 18/37 abnormal respectively); IRT will be particularly useful as an additional diagnostic test in older children, in whom interpretation of the sweat test may be difficult, as 14/15 CF patients aged over 10 years had abnormal IRT results. Less than half of our patients who were aged between one and nine years had abnormal IRT activity, limiting the value of the test, though a low activity would still support the diagnosis of CF. Comparison with faecal fat estimations in 31 patients suggests that neither IRT nor PIA can be used as a non-invasive test of pancreatic function in order to identify those few CF patients who do not require pancreatic enzyme supplements.
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) 4000 is one of numerous substances used as non-absorbable markers to correct for variable faecal output when assessing daily faecal losses of nutrients. The introduction of enteric coated micro-encapsulated pancreatic enzyme (EMPE) preparations has greatly improved the control of fat malabsorption in cystic fibrosis and chronic pancreatitis patients. Unfortunately, these enzyme preparations contain significant quantities of PEG 4000 or polyvinyl pyrrolidine (PVP) as components of the enteric coating and thus PEG 4000 cannot be used either as a faecal marker, or in intubation studies, if these enzyme preparations are being used.
A test meal for assessing the intraluminal phase of absorption in childhood has been validated. 132 test meals were administered to 110 patients aged 2 weeks to 18 years (mean age 4.3 years). 10 children with suspected malabsorption, who were proven to be normal after extensive investigation, constituted the control group. The activities of pancreatic enzymes, and the total and individual bile salt concentrations are presented for the control subjects, and pancreatic enzyme levels in this group are compared with those seen in children with pancreatic insufficiency (cystic fibrosis). The test meal has been designed so that it can be administered to children with suspected gluten, cows' milk, or disaccharide intolerance. The control data provided a basis for the interpretation of information obtained from the application of such a test meal to the clinical investigation of children with suspected malabsorption.
The use of neonatal screening for cystic fibrosis is widely debated in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, but the evidence available to inform policy is limited. This paper explores the cost-effectiveness of adding screening for cystic fibrosis to an existing routine neonatal screening programme for congenital hypothyroidism and phenylketonuria, under alternative scenarios and assumptions.
The study is based on a decision model comparing screening to no screening in terms of a number of outcome measures, including diagnosis of cystic fibrosis, life-time treatment costs, life years and QALYs gained. The setting is a hypothetical UK health region without an existing neonatal screening programme for cystic fibrosis.
Under initial assumptions, neonatal screening (using an immunoreactive trypsin/DNA two stage screening protocol) costs £5,387 per infant diagnosed, or £1.83 per infant screened (1998 costs). Neonatal screening for cystic fibrosis produces an incremental cost-effectiveness of £6,864 per QALY gained, in our base case scenario (an assumed benefit of a 6 month delay in the emergence of symptoms). A difference of 11 months or more in the emergence of symptoms (and mean survival) means neonatal screening is both less costly and produces better outcomes than no screening.
Neonatal screening is expensive as a method of diagnosis. Neonatal screening may be a cost-effective intervention if the hypothesised delays in the onset of symptoms are confirmed. Implementing both antenatal and neonatal screening would undermine potential economic benefits, since a reduction in the birth incidence of cystic fibrosis would reduce the cost-effectiveness of neonatal screening.
Transport mechanisms, whereby alimentary lipids are digested and packaged into small emulsion particles that enter intestinal cells to be translocated to the plasma in the form of chylomicrons, are impaired in cystic fibrosis. The purpose of this paper is to focus on defects that are related to intraluminal and intracellular events in this life-limiting genetic disorder. Specific evidence is presented to highlight the relationship between fat malabsorption and essential fatty acid deficiency commonly found in patients with cystic fibrosis that are often related to the genotype. Given the interdependency of pulmonary disease, pancreatic insufficiency and nutritional status, greater attention should be paid to the optimal correction of fat malabsorption and essential fatty acid deficiency in order to improve the quality of life and extend the life span of patients with cystic fibrosis.
Pancreatitis is a rare manifestation of cystic fibrosis (CF) and may rarely be the presenting symptom in adolescent or adult patients with CF. We report a case of a 4 year-old female who initially presented with recurrent pancreatitis, a normal sweat test, and a diagnosis of pancreas divisum. She was subsequently diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of 6 years, despite normal growth and no pulmonary symptoms, after nasal potential difference measurements suggested possible CF and two known CF-causing mutations (ΔF508 and L997F) were detected.
An otherwise healthy 4 year-old female developed chronic pancreatitis and was diagnosed with pancreas divisum. Sphincterotomy was performed without resolution of her pancreatitis. Sweat test was negative for cystic fibrosis, but measurement of nasal potential differences suggested possible cystic fibrosis. These results prompted extended Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Regulator Conductance (CFTR) mutational analysis that revealed a compound heterozygous mutation: ΔF508 and L997F.
CFTR mutations should be considered in cases of chronic or recurrent pancreatitis despite a negative sweat test and the presence of pancreas divisum. Children with CFTR mutations may present with recurrent pancreatitis, lacking any other signs or symptoms of cystic fibrosis. It is possible that the combination of pancreas divisum and abnormal CFTR function may contribute to the severity and frequency of recurrent pancreatitis.