Objective: In cystic fibrosis, reduced body mass is related to low levels of IGF-I and changes in the IGF binding proteins. Our aim was to determine whether these abnormalities are linked to pancreatic endocrine dysfunction.
Patients and design: We measured serum levels of insulin, IGF-I, IGFBP-I, IGFBP-3 and IGF bioactivity in 77 fasting subjects (43 male) mean age 9.6 years (range 2.99-17.98 years). Data were analysed with respect of body mass, puberty and stature and compared with control data established in the same laboratory.
Results: The mean height standard deviation score (SDS (SD)) was -0.54 (0.97) and the body mass index SDS -0.24 (1.09). Both body mass index SDS (r = -0.40, P = 0.0003) and IGF-I SDS (r = - 0.32, P = 0.009) declined with age. Insulin levels were also low and correlated with IGF-I and IGFBP-3 (r = 0.42, P = 0.0004, and r = 0.45, P = 0.0002, respectively) whereas levels of IGFBP-I were inversely related to those of IGF-I and insulin (r = - 0.43, P = 0. 0004, r = - 0.52, P < 0.0001). IGF bioactivity was reduced and inversely related to IGFBP-I (r = - 0.31, P = 0.009). In multiple regression analysis, body mass index SDS was negatively related to age (P < 0.0001) and positively related to insulin and IGF-I (P = 0. 04, P = 0.03, respectively). Height SDS was correlated with IGF bioactivity (P = 0.003) and negatively with IGFBP-I (P = 0.01).
Conclusions: We conclude that progressive insulin deficiency may result in reduced IGF-I levels and IGF-bioactivity and may determine weight gain and statural growth in cystic fibrosis.