Assessment of total energy expenditure in free-living patients with cystic fibrosis

J Pediatr. 1991 Jun;118(6):865-72. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(05)82196-1.


The increase in resting energy expenditure (REE) reported in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) does not necessarily imply an increase in total energy expenditure (TEE). In this study REE was assessed with open-circuit indirect calorimetry, and free-living 24-hour TEE with the heart rate method. Thirteen patients with CF, aged 8 to 24 years, with adequate nutritional status and moderately decreased pulmonary function, were studied. They were compared with 13 healthy control subjects matched for gender, age, height, and nutritional status. Resting energy expenditure was higher in patients with CF (1512 +/- 88 kcal/day) than in control subjects (1339 +/- 76 kcal/day; p less than 0.01), whereas free-living 24-hour TEE (2345 +/- 127 kcal/day and 2358 +/- 256 kcal/day, respectively) and net mechanical work efficiency of walking on a treadmill (20.4 +/- 0.7% and 19.8 +/- 0.6%, respectively) were similar. Respiratory quotient was higher in patients with CF than in control subjects at rest (0.834 +/- 0.009 vs 0.797 +/- 0.008; p less than 0.05), and tended to remain so during physical exercise, indicating a higher contribution of carbohydrate oxidation to energy expenditure. We conclude that in free living conditions, patients with CF can compensate for their increase in REE by a reduction in spontaneous physical activities or other yet undefined mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Basal Metabolism / physiology*
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / blood
  • Cystic Fibrosis / metabolism*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Exertion / physiology