Clinical scoring systems in cystic fibrosis

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2006 Jul;41(7):602-17. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20376.


The first cystic fibrosis (CF) scoring system was published in 1958. Since then, many other scoring systems were developed. Clinical parameters, details about statistical evaluations, and recent strategic uses of scores were identified. Several similar scores aiming to assess chronic illness severity (Shwachman-Kulczycki score and a modification, Cooperman, Berneze-score and the NIH score) have not been evaluated and are out of date, given the changing natural history of CF. Of the current scoring systems, the modified Shwachman score by Doershuk is perhaps most reliable for describing follow-up studies. Scores designed for acute changes and short-term evaluation were also developed. The modified Huang score may be useful in the prognostic evaluation of patients with end-stage disease. It could also be used for discrimination of adult patients with differing disease severity and for longitudinal evaluation. Scores assessing pulmonary exacerbations could help provide consensus among clinicians regarding the need for intervention. Most of these scores require further evaluation. Although scores could provide an objective measure of disease severity, progression, need for and response to interventions, including value in selecting patients for lung transplantation and as an outcome measure for research studies, no scoring system can fulfill all these objectives. Nevertheless, there is a need for the development of a modern day longitudinal score that is sensitive, valid and reproducible, to reflect the milder disease status of patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis / classification*
  • Humans
  • Severity of Illness Index