Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited autosomal recessive disorder that causes chronic airway disease. In addition to genetic factors, environmental factors may affect the clinical phenotype of CF. In this study, the presence of aeroallergen sensitivity in our patients with CF and its effects on clinical findings are evaluated.
Methods: In this study, patients included were diagnosed with CF and followed in the Pediatric Respiratory and Allergy Clinic of the Faculty of Medicine, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey. Demographic characteristics, clinical and laboratory findings, skin prick test (SPT) results, and modified Shwachman-Kulczycki (MSK) scores of the patients were evaluated.
Results: We evaluated 51 patients with CF with a median age of 10 (6-18) years. The mean MSK score of the patients was 72.54±11.50, and the mean predictive value of forced expiratory volume (FEV1) in the initial (1st) second was 80.43±19.50. According to SPT, aeroallergen sensitivity was detected in 17 (33.3%) patients. The prevalence of bacterial colonization and bronchiectasis was higher, and MSK scores were lower in Aspergillus fumigatus (AF)-sensitive patients (P ≤ 0.01). However, no similar difference was found in other allergen sensitivities. MSK scores (P = 0.001) and predictive FEV1 values (P = 0.005) of 25 (49%) patients with bacterial colonization were significantly lower than those without colonization.
Conclusion: Aeroallergen sensitivity was detected in approximately one-third of CF patients. Although it has been emphasized in studies that environmental factors may have an impact on lung functions and clinical conditions in CF, the effect of allergens other than AF sensitivity may be less important compared to other environmental factors, such as the presence of bacterial colonization.
Keywords: Aspergillus fumigatus; asthma; atopy; children; cystic fibrosis.