Genotype-phenotype relationships in a cohort of adult cystic fibrosis patients

Eur Respir J. 1996 Nov;9(11):2207-14. doi: 10.1183/09031936.96.09112207.


In cystic fibrosis (CF), relationships between genotype and phenotype have been shown for pancreatic status but not for pulmonary disease. One hundred and ten adult CF patients were classified according to the expected effect of their mutations on cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein: Group 1 (n=48) included deltaF508 homozygotes; Group 2 (n=26), patients with two "severe" mutations and no expected CFTR production; Group 3 (n=17), patients with expected partly functional CFTR corresponding to at least one "mild" mutation; Group 4 (n=19), patients with no mutation identified or only one identified "severe" mutation. As compared to Groups 1 and 2: patients from Groups 3 and 4 had higher arterial oxygen tension (Pa,O2) (9.5+/-1.9 and 9.9+/-1.5 vs 8.8+/-1.5 and 8.3+/-1.7 kPa, respectively p<0.02); and a slower decline in their pulmonary function, estimated by the mean annual loss in forced vital capacity (FVC) (1.2+/-1.0 and 1.5+/-1.1 vs 2.0+/-0.9 and 2.2+/-1.0%, respectively; p<0.01) and in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) (1.7+/-1.1 and 1.9+/-1.3 vs 2.6+/-1.0 and 2.8+/-1.0%, respectively; p<0.005). They had fewer episodes of colonization of the airways by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and colonization occurred at a more advanced age (median age 25 and 19 vs 15 and 17 yrs, respectively; p<0.01) and required fewer intravenous antibiotic courses (p<0.01). Pancreatic insufficiency was less frequent in Groups 3 (23%) and 4 (63%) than in Groups 1 (100%) and 2 (96%). This study suggests that the phenotype of adult cystic fibrosis patients, including the severity of the lung disease, is related to the severity of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator mutations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arteries
  • Cystic Fibrosis / genetics*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / genetics
  • DNA / analysis
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency / genetics
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Genotype
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Phenotype
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / isolation & purification
  • Respiratory System / microbiology
  • Vital Capacity


  • CFTR protein, human
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
  • DNA
  • Oxygen