Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is no longer a childhood disease. Since the identification of the gene in 1989 research has made advances and changed views on the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment. The objective of the present work is to make doctors treating adult patients familiar with modern therapeutic methods and their value.
Methods and results: In the CF Centre of the Faculty Hospital in Prague Motol 349 patients are followed up on a long-term basis, incl. 95 who died since 1985. Hundred and twenty six (36.1%) patients survived to the age of 18 years, of those 41 died and 85 patients live. Comparison of semilongitudinal data of a group of 83 patients born before 1975 whose treatment during childhood and puberty was inadequate and 196 patients born in 1976-90 treated by modern methods proved the great effect of treatment on the course and prognosis of the disease. The median age at death increased during from 12.2 years in 1985-90 to 18.8 years in 1991-1998 (p = 0.004). The nutritional status of adult patients is satisfactory in 40.4%, poor in 33.3% and marginal in 26.3%. A normal pulmonary function was recorded in 17.5%, 22.8% are severely affected, the majority of patients (59.7%) has values within 40 to 80% of normal levels.
Conclusions: Modern intensive treatment improved the prognosis and quality of live in patients with CF. Critical deterioration of the clinical condition shifted to the threshold of adult age. It is therefore essential that doctors treating such patients should be familiar with this issue.