Intestinal complications of cystic fibrosis.Curr Opin Pulm Med 2013; 19(6):676-80CO
PURPOSE OF REVIEW
The article reviews advances in gastrointestinal aspects of cystic fibrosis (CF) published in the literature over the past year, and highlights new and interesting research.
Animal models can be used to understand the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal complications in CF. The CF mouse is useful for studying distal intestinal obstruction, dysmotility and dysbiosis, and the CF pig model has helped us better understand meconium ileus and pancreatic and hepatobiliary secretory problems. Studies in humans help elucidate the evolution of pancreatic insufficiency, how reflux may lead to lung disease, problems with intestinal dysmotility, mechanisms leading to pancreatitis and the increased prevalence of gastrointestinal cancer. Biomarkers are shedding light on CF-related liver disease. Rectal biopsies can help in diagnosis and in studying new drugs for CF.
Gastrointestinal complications of CF are likely to be seen with increasing frequency as patients with CF lead longer lives. CF animal models and modern research techniques are providing new insights into extrapulmonary complications. CF clinicians should be familiar with diagnosis and management of common gastrointestinal complications and should build bridges with specialists so that referrals can be made when needed.