Diagnosis of cystic fibrosis during adolescence

Sherahe Brown Fitzpatrick, Beryl J. Rosenstein, Terry S. Langbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The manifestations of cystic fibrosis (CF) may be minimal, absent, or overlooked during childhood, thus 8-10% of cases are diagnosed during adolescence. Between 1970 and 1982, 14/157 (8.9%) patients were diagnosed as having CF as teenagers, based on clinical findings and elevated sweat electrolyte levels. Of these 14 patients (X- = 15 years, range = 12-20 years), 50% had pulmonary and gastrointestinal symptoms dating from childhood; 50% became symptomatic during adolescence (primarily with pulmonary manifestations). None had a family history of CF. Four had false-negative sweat tests resulting in a mean diagnostic delay of 7.3 years. Because of the potential long-term complications of CF on physical maturation, completion of the psychosocial tasks of adolescence, adaptation to a chronic illness, and issues of sexuality and fertility, consideration of this diagnosis is crucial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1986


  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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