Early glucose abnormalities are associated with pulmonary inflammation in young children with cystic fibrosis

J Cyst Fibros. 2019 Nov;18(6):869-873. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2019.03.010. Epub 2019 Apr 26.


Background: Children with CF are insulin deficient from infancy but very little is known about the impact of glucose abnormalities in early life. We aimed to identify and describe interstitial glucose levels in CF children <6 years and to evaluate the association with pulmonary infection and inflammation.

Methods: We assessed 18 children (5 females) with median age of 3.2 years (range 0·9-5.5) with Continuous Glucose Monitoring for 3 days. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was cultured for known pathogenic microbial agents and assessed for total white blood cells, percentage of neutrophils and IL-8 level.

Results: Peak sensor glucose (SG) was >11.1 mmol/L in 39% of participants. The percentage neutrophil count on BAL was positively correlated with elevated SG (peak SG rs = 0.48, p = .044) and with glucose variability (SG standard deviation r = 0.62, β = 38.5, p = .006). BAL IL-8 level was significantly correlated with all measures of CGM hyperglycemia including % time > 7.8 mmol/L (p = .008) and standard deviation (p < .001). Participants with a history of Pseudomonas aeruginosa had a higher % time > 7.8 mmol/L glucose (16% versus 3%, p = .015).

Conclusion: Children with CF frequently demonstrate elevated SG levels before age 6 years, which are associated with increased pulmonary inflammation and Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. Transient SG elevations into the diabetic range (≥11.1 mmol/L) were identified in children from 1 year of age.

Keywords: CGM; Continuous glucose monitoring; Cystic fibrosis; Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes; Inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't