Cystic fibrosis medical therapy
Cystic fibrosis Microchapters
Cystic fibrosis medical therapy On the Web
American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Cystic fibrosis medical therapy
The cornerstones of management are proactive treatment of airway infection, and encouragement of good nutrition and an active lifestyle. The treatment for cystic fibrosis continues throughout a patient's life, and is aimed at maximizing organ function, and therefore quality of life. At best, current treatments delay the decline in organ function. Treatment typically occurs at specialist multidisciplinary centres, and is tailored to the individual, because of the wide variation in disease symptoms. Targets for therapy are the lungs, gastrointestinal tract (including insulin treatment), the reproductive organs (including Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)) and psychological support. In addition, therapies such as transplantation and gene therapy aim to cure some of the effects of cystic fibrosis.
The most consistent aspect of therapy in cystic fibrosis is limiting and treating the lung damage caused by thick mucus and infection with the goal of maintaining quality of life. Intravenous, inhaled, and oral antibiotics are used to treat chronic and acute infections. Mechanical devices and inhalation medications are used to alter and clear the thickened mucus.
Antibiotics are given whenever pneumonia is suspected or there has been a decline in lung function. Antibiotics are often chosen based on information about prior infections. Many bacteria common in cystic fibrosis are resistant to multiple antibiotics and require weeks of treatment with intravenous antibiotics such as vancomycin, tobramycin, meropenem, ciprofloxacin and piperacillin. This prolonged therapy often necessitates hospitalization and insertion of a more permanent IV such as a PICC line or Port-a-Cath. Inhaled therapy with antibiotics such as tobramycin and colistin is often given for months at a time in order to improve lung function by impeding the growth of colonized bacteria. Oral antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin or azithromycin are sometimes given to help prevent infection or to control ongoing infection. Some individuals spend years between hospitalizations for antibiotics, whereas others require several antibiotic treatments each year.
Several common antibiotics such as tobramycin and vancomycin can cause hearing loss or kidney problems with long-term use. In order to prevent these side-effects, the amount of antibiotics in the blood are routinely measured and adjusted accordingly.
Other methods to treat lung disease
Several mechanical techniques are used to dislodge sputum and encourage its expectoration. In the hospital setting, physical therapy is utilized; a therapist pounds an individual's chest with his or her hands several times a day. Devices that recreate this percussive therapy include the ThAIRapy Vest and the intrapulmonary percussive ventilator (IPV). Newer methods such as Biphasic Cuirass Ventilation, and associated clearance mode available in such devices, now integrate a cough assistance phase, as well as a vibration phase for dislodging secretions. Biphasic Cuirass Ventilation is also shown to provide a bridge to transplantation. These are portable and adapted for home use. Aerobic exercise is of great benefit to people with cystic fibrosis. Not only does exercise increase sputum clearance but it also improves cardiovascular and overall health.
Aerosolized medications that help loosen secretions include dornase alfa and hypertonic saline. Dornase is a recombinant human deoxyribonuclease, which breaks down DNA in the sputum, thus decreasing its viscosity. N-Acetylcysteine may also decrease sputum viscosity, but research and experience have shown its benefits to be minimal. Albuterol and ipratropium bromide are inhaled to increase the size of the small airways by relaxing the surrounding muscles.
As lung disease worsens, breathing support from machines may become necessary. Individuals with CF may need to wear special masks at night that help push air into their lungs. These machines, known as bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) ventilators, help prevent low blood oxygen levels during sleep. BiPAP may also be used during physical therapy to improve sputum clearance. During severe illness, people with CF may need to have a tube placed in their throats and their breathing supported by a ventilator.
Treatment of other aspects of CF
Newborns with meconium ileus typically require surgery, whereas adults with distal intestinal obstruction syndrome typically do not. Treatment of pancreatic insufficiency by replacement of missing digestive enzymes allows the duodenum to properly absorb nutrients and vitamins that would otherwise be lost in the faeces. Even so, most individuals with CF take additional amounts of vitamins A, D, E, and K and eat high-calorie meals. It should be noted, however, that nutritional advice given to patients is, at best, mixed: Often, literature encourages the eating of high-fat foods without differentiating between saturated and unsaturated fats/trans-fats; this lack of clear information runs counter to health advice given to the general population, and creates the risk of further serious health problems for people with cystic fibrosis as they grow older. So far, no large-scale research involving the incidence of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease in adults with cystic fibrosis has been conducted. This is likely due to the fact that the vast majority of people with cystic fibrosis do not live long enough to develop clinically significant atherosclerosis or coronary heart disease.
The diabetes common to many CF patients is typically treated with insulin injections or an insulin pump. Development of osteoporosis can be prevented by increased intake of vitamin D and calcium, and can be treated by bisphosphonates. Poor growth may be avoided by insertion of a feeding tube for increasing calories through supplemental feeds or by administration of injected growth hormone.
Sinus infections are treated by prolonged courses of antibiotics. The development of nasal polyps or other chronic changes within the nasal passages may severely limit airflow through the nose. Sinus surgery is often used to alleviate nasal obstruction and to limit further infections. Nasal steroids such as fluticasone are used to decrease nasal inflammation. Female infertility may be overcome by assisted reproduction technology, particularly embryo transfer techniques. Male infertility may be overcome with intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Third party reproduction is also a possibility for women with CF.
- ↑ Davies J et al. Cystic Fibrosis. BMJ. 2007 Dec 15;335(7632):1255–59.
- ↑ Pai VB, Nahata MC. Efficacy and safety of aerosolized tobramycin in cystic fibrosis. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2001 Oct;32(4):314-27. Review. PMID 11568993
- ↑ Westerman EM, Le Brun PP, Touw DJ, Frijlink HW, Heijerman HG. Effect of nebulized colistin sulphate and colistin sulphomethate on lung function in patients with cystic fibrosis: a pilot study. J Cyst Fibros. 2004 Mar;3(1):23-8. PMID 15463883
- ↑ Hansen CR, Pressler T, Koch C, Hoiby N.Long-term azithromycin treatment of cystic fibrosis patients with chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection; an observational cohort study. J Cyst Fibros. 2005 Mar;4(1):35–40. PMID 15752679
- ↑ van der Schans C, Prasad A, Main E. Chest physiotherapy compared to no chest physiotherapy for cystic fibrosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD001401. Review. PMID 10796781
- ↑ Kuver R, Lee SP. Hypertonic saline for cystic fibrosis. N Engl J Med. 2006 Apr 27;354(17):1848–51; author reply 1848–51. PMID 16642591
- ↑ Lieberman J. Dornase aerosol effect on sputum viscosity in cases of cystic fibrosis. JAMA. 1968 Jul 29;205(5):312-3. PMID 5694947
- ↑ Moran F, Bradley J. Non-invasive ventilation for cystic fibrosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(2):CD002769. Review. PMID 12804435
- ↑ Onady GM, Stolfi A. Insulin and oral agents for managing cystic fibrosis-related diabetes. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Jul 20;(3):CD004730. Review. PMID 16034943
- ↑ Conway SP, Oldroyd B, Morton A, Truscott JG, Peckham DG. Effect of oral bisphosphonates on bone mineral density and body composition in adult patients with cystic fibrosis: a pilot study. Thorax. 2004 Aug;59(8):699–703. PMID 15282392
- ↑ Hardin DS, Rice J, Ahn C, Ferkol T, Howenstine M, Spears S, Prestidge C, Seilheimer DK, Shepherd R. Growth hormone treatment enhances nutrition and growth in children with cystic fibrosis receiving enteral nutrition.J Pediatr. 2005 Mar;146(3):324-8. PMID 15756212
- ↑ Marks SC, Kissner DG. Management of sinusitis in adult cystic fibrosis. Am J Rhinol. 1997 Jan-Feb;11(1):11-4. PMID 9065342
- ↑ Phillipson GT, Petrucco OM, Matthews CD. Congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens, cystic fibrosis mutation analysis and intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Hum Reprod. 2000 Feb;15(2):431-5. PMID 10655317
There is no pharmaceutical or device industry support for this site and we need your viewer supported Donations | Editorial Board | Governance | Licensing | Disclaimers | Avoid Plagiarism | Policies