Background: Disrupted HCO3(-) transport and reduced airway surface liquid (ASL) pH in cystic fibrosis (CF) may initiate airway disease. We hypothesized that ASL pH is reduced in neonates with CF.
Methods: In neonates with and without CF, we measured pH of nasal ASL. We also measured nasal pH in older children and adults.
Results: In neonates with CF, nasal ASL (pH5.2 ± 0.3) was more acidic than in non-CF neonates (pH6.4 ± 0.2). In contrast, nasal pH of CF children and adults was similar to values measured in people without CF.
Conclusions: At an age when infection, inflammation and airway wall remodeling are minimal, neonates with CF had an acidic nasal ASL compared to babies without CF. The CF:non-CF pH difference disappeared in older individuals, perhaps because secondary manifestations of disease increase ASL pH. These results aid understanding of CF pathogenesis and suggest opportunities for therapeutic intervention and monitoring of disease.
Keywords: Airway surface liquid (ASL); Cystic fibrosis; Neonatal screen; Neonates; pH.
Copyright © 2014 European Cystic Fibrosis Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.