Multiple breath washout (MBW) measurements have recently been shown to be sensitive for detection of early cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease, with the lung clearance index (LCI) being the most common measure for ventilation inhomogeneity. The aim of this observational study was to describe the longitudinal course of LCI from time of clinical diagnosis during infancy to school-age in eleven children with CF. Elevated LCI during infancy was present in seven subjects, especially in those with later clinical diagnosis. Tracking of LCI at follow-up was evident only in the four most severe cases. We provide the first longitudinal data describing the long-term course of LCI in a small group of infants with CF. Our findings support the clinical usefulness of MBW measurements to detect and monitor early lung disease in children with CF already present shortly after clinical diagnosis.
Copyright © 2011 European Cystic Fibrosis Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.