The aim of this study was to develop valid and reliable disease-specific questionnaires for adult patients with cystic fibrosis and for parents of minors with cystic fibrosis for assessing patient experience with cystic fibrosis care.
Lung disease remains the main cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). To detect lung disease before clinical symptoms become apparent, sensitive tools are essential. Spirometry is used for monitoring, but the FEV1 remains frequently normal throughout childhood. The Lung Clearance Index (LCI) calculated from Multiple Breath Washout (MBW) was introduced at the CF centre Innsbruck in 2007 for assessing ventilation inhomogeneity in patients with mild lung disease. We hypothesized that LCIs in 2007 are of prognostic value for the presence or absence of structural lung changes in later years.
Pulmonary insufficiency is the main cause of death in cystic fibrosis (CF). We analysed forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) data of 14 732 patients registered in the European Cystic Fibrosis Society Patient Registry (ECFSPR) database in 2007. We used linear and logistic regressions to investigate associations between FEV1 % predicted and clinical outcomes. Body mass index (BMI), chronic infection by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, pancreatic status and CF-related diabetes (CFRD) showed a statistically significant (all p<0.0001) and clinically relevant effect on FEV1 % pred after adjusting for age. Patients with a lower BMI experience a six-fold increased odds ratio (95% CI 5.0-7.3) of having severe lung disease (FEV1 <40% pred) compared to patients with normal BMI. Being chronically infected with P. aeruginosa increases the odds ratio of severe lung disease by 2.4 (95% CI 2.0-2.7), and patients with pancreatic insufficiency experience a 2.0-fold increased odds ratio (95% CI 1.6-2.5) of severe lung disease compared to pancreatic sufficient patients. Patients with CFRD have a 1.8-fold increased odds ratio (95% CI 1.6-2.2) compared to patients not affected. These potential risk factors for pulmonary disease in patients with CF are to some degree preventable or treatable. We emphasise the importance of their early identification through frequent routine tests, the implementation of infection control measures, and a timely initiation of relevant therapies.
Complete or incomplete intestinal obstruction by viscid faecal material in the terminal ileum and proximal colon - distal intestinal obstruction syndrome (DIOS) - is a common complication in cystic fibrosis. Estimates of prevalence range from 5 to 12 episodes per 1000 patients per year in children, with higher rates reported in adults. DIOS is mainly seen in patients with pancreatic insufficiency, positive history of meconium ileus and previous episodes of DIOS. DIOS is being described with increasing frequency following organ transplantation. Diagnosis is based on suggestive symptoms with a right lower quadrant mass confirmed on X-ray. The main differential is chronic constipation. Treatment consists of rehydration combined with stool softening laxatives or gut lavage with balanced electrolyte solutions. Rapid fluid shifts have been described following osmotic agents. Avoiding dehydration and optimizing pancreatic enzyme dosage may reduce the chance of further episodes. Prophylactic laxative therapy is widely used, but is not evidence-based.
The Lung Clearance Index (LCI) is superior to spirometry in detecting early lung disease in cystic fibrosis (CF) and correlates with structural lung changes seen on CT scans. The LCI has the potential to become a novel outcome parameter for clinical and research purposes. However longitudinal studies are required to further prove its prognostic value. Multi-center design is likely to facilitate realization of such studies. Therefore the aim of the present study was to assess multi-center feasibility and inter-center variability of LCI measurements in healthy children and adolescents. Comparative measurements were performed in unselected patients with CF to confirm previous single-center results. LCI measurements were performed in eight centers using the EasyOne Pro, MBW Module (ndd Medical Technologies, Zurich, Switzerland). The overall success rate for LCI measurements was 75.5%, leaving 102/151 measurements in healthy volunteers and 139/183 measurements in patients with CF for final analysis. Age ranged between 4 and 24 years. Mean LCI (range of means among centers) was 6.3 (6.0-6.5) in healthy volunteers and thus normal. Inter-center variability of center means was 2.9%, ANOVA including Schffé procedure demonstrated no significant inter-center differences (P > 0.05). Mean LCI (range of means among centers) was 8.2 (7.4-8.9) in CF and thus abnormal. Our study demonstrates good multi-center feasibility and low inter-center variability of the LCI in healthy volunteers when measured with the EasyOne Pro MBW module. Our data confirm published LCI data in CF. However, central coordination, quality control, regular training, and supervision during the entire study appear essential for successfully performing multi-center trials.
It is widely accepted that CF lung disease starts before clinical symptoms become apparent or spirometry deteriorates. Computed chest tomography (CT) is the reference method for identifying structural changes in CF; however, radiation exposure limits its use as a monitoring tool. It has been suggested that the Lung Clearance Index (LCI) measured by Multiple Breath Washout (MBW) for assessing ventilation inhomogeneity is a more sensitive surrogate marker than spirometry allowing non-invasive monitoring of CF lung disease. The aim of this study was to prospectively investigate the diagnostic accuracy of the LCI in comparison to CT in CF patients with early lung disease and normal FEV(1) (>80% pred.). MBW and ultra-low-dose CT were performed in 34 patients (6-26 years). LCI was abnormal in 76.5% subjects. LCI and CT correlated significantly in 82.3%. LCI was related to presence and extent of structural lung changes observed on CT with a sensitivity of 88%. Diagnostic accuracy of the LCI for detecting CF lung disease in patients with normal FEV(1) was good when compared to CT. Results indicate that structural changes are unlikely if a normal LCI is measured. We speculate that serial measurements of the LCI for assessing ventilation inhomogeneity may help to identify early structural lung disease and help to reduce the individual cumulative radiation dose. The LCI may be a suitable surrogate marker for monitoring progression of CF lung disease and effect of treatment in both, clinical care and research settings.
There is increasing interest in using the Multiple Breath Washout technique and the lung clearance index (LCI) for detecting early pulmonary changes, for example, in cystic fibrosis lung disease. However, there are still limited data regarding equipment specific reference ranges, repeatability and reproducibility. The aim of this prospective study was to assess within-test repeatability, short term reproducibility and long term reproducibility, and to establish normal values for the LCI in healthy children and adolescents using the sidestream ultrasonic flow sensor (EasyOne Pro, MBW Module, ndd Medical Technologies, Switzerland). Fourty-four volunteers (5.3-20.3 years) were recruited for the 1st test. Twenty-two out of 44 were measured on a 2nd test occasion after an interval of 1 hr (2nd test). Thirty-four out of 44 agreed to come back for a follow up test 6-15 months later (3rd test). Mean LCI (SD) was 6.2 (0.4), 6.3 (0.4), and 6.0 (0.4) at the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd test. The upper limit of normal was 7.0 for all subjects. Within-test repeatability was 5.1%. Short-term reproducibility (1st test vs. 2nd test) was 4.2% with a mean difference of -0.13 (95% CI -0.350; 0.087). Long-term reproducibility (1st test vs. 3rd test) was 5.1%, with a mean difference of 0.017 (95% CI -0.016; 0.348). With this low variability of the LCI for both, within and between tests, our study demonstrates reliability and robustness of equipment, protocol and analysis and the reliability of the MBW technique in general. The present data will help to interpret the effect of therapeutic interventions and interpretation of longitudinal data in patients with pulmonary diseases.
Volumetric capnography reflecting the course of CO2-exhalation is used to assess ventilation inhomogeneity. Calculation of the slope of expiratory phase 3 and the capnographic index (KPIv) from expirograms allows quantification of extent and severity of small airway impairment. However, technical limitations have hampered more widespread use of this technique. Using expiratory molar mass-volume-curves sampled with a handheld ultrasonic flow sensor during tidal breathing is a novel approach to extract similar information from expirograms in a simpler manner possibly qualifying as a screening tool for clinical routine. The aim of the present study was to evaluate calculation of the KPIv based on molar mass-volume-curves sampled with an ultrasonic flow sensor in patients with CF and controls by assessing feasibility, reproducibility and comparability with the Lung Clearance Index (LCI) derived from multiple breath washout (MBW) used as the reference method.
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