Mucus distribution model in a lung with cystic fibrosis

Comput Math Methods Med. 2012;2012:970809. doi: 10.1155/2012/970809. Epub 2012 Oct 17.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common autosomal recessive disease in Caucasians with a reported incidence of 1 in every 3200 live births. Most strikingly, CF is associated with early mortality. Host in flammatory responses result in airway mucus plugging, airway wall edema, and eventual destruction of airway wall support structure. Despite aggressive treatment, the median age of survival is approximately 38 years. This work is the first attempt to parameterize the distributions of mucus in a CF lung as a function of time. By default, the model makes arbitrary choices at each stage of the construction process, whereby the simplest choice is made. The model is sophisticated enough to fit the average CF patients' spirometric data over time and to identify several interesting parameters: probability of colonization, mucus volume growth rate, and scarring rate. Extensions of the model appropriate for describing the dynamics of single patient MRI data are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Biofilms
  • Computer Simulation
  • Cystic Fibrosis / metabolism*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Statistical
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Mucus / metabolism
  • Respiratory Function Tests