Musculoskeletal manifestations in cystic fibrosis

Joint Bone Spine. 2003 Sep;70(5):327-35. doi: 10.1016/s1297-319x(03)00063-0.


Although bone and joint manifestations are common in children with cystic fibrosis (CF), they have received little attention in adults. As compared to healthy individuals, bone mineral density is low, even with calcium intakes greater than 1500 mg/d. Nevertheless, calcium and phosphate levels in blood and urine are often normal, and vitamin D levels vary. Short stature with a low body mass index and central hypogonadism are the rule in these patients. Fractures and kyphosis are often reported. CF arthropathy occurs in 2-8.5% of patients. Arthritis develops, and there may be skin eruptions. Non-steroidal antiinflammatory drug therapy is effective. Hypertrophic osteoarthropathy associated with respiratory failure is present in 2-7% of patients. Rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthropathies, sarcoidosis, and amyloidosis have been reported in association with CF. Knee pain due to patellofemoral syndrome, quinolone-induced arthropathy, and mechanical back pain have been described. Rheumatoid factor titers are higher than in healthy controls, particularly in patients with episodic arthritis. No data are available on antiperinuclear factor or antikeratin antibody titers. Tests for antinuclear antibody are usually negative. Circulating immune complex levels and antibodies to heat shock proteins may be elevated. Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody of the bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI) or azurocidin (AZ) type has been reported, often in high titers (up to 40%).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Bone Density / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications
  • Cystic Fibrosis / immunology*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / immunology*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology*


  • Autoantibodies