What is cystic fibrosis?

Also known as: CF

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder in which a child inherits two defective cystic fibrosis genes (one gene from each parent). The defective genes result in the buildup of thick, sticky mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. In the lungs, mucus blocks airways and traps bacteria, leading to infections, extensive lung damage and, eventually, respiratory failure. In the pancreas, the mucus interferes with the release of enzymes that allow the digestive system to break down food, interfering with absorption of vital nutrients.

 


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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