Recurrent abdominal pain in children with cystic fibrosis: a pilot prospective longitudinal evaluation of characteristics and management

J Cyst Fibros. 2012 Jan;11(1):46-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2011.07.010. Epub 2011 Sep 9.


Children with cystic fibrosis commonly experience abdominal pain; however this remains poorly characterised. This prospective cross-sectional study with a longitudinal design, examined the prevalence, causes and effect of pain management via daily diaries, validated questionnaires for pain characteristics, anxiety status and quality of life. One hundred and thirty CF patients aged 8 to 18 years, regularly followed at our centre, were questioned on recurrent abdominal pain. Eight patients fulfilled the criteria; all wished to enter the study. Pain management included behavioural intervention with effective pain relief, and had a positive impact on anxiety and quality of life. This study is the first one to prospectively assess recurrent abdominal pain in CF. We documented a very low prevalence of 6%. We suggest that, ruling out abdominal discomfort, only a minority of CF children presented recurrent abdominal pain with a true negative impact on daily life. We emphasise the need for further studies including larger cohorts.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / epidemiology
  • Abdominal Pain / etiology*
  • Abdominal Pain / therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Recurrence