Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s exocrine glands, causing them to produce an excess of mucus and other secretions. Exocrine glands are responsible for secreting substances onto body surfaces both internally (such as in the lungs) and externally (such as on the skin). Examples of these secretions include sweat, tears, digestive juices and mucus.
The most characteristic symptom of cystic fibrosis is the excessive production of thick, sticky mucus in the airways. Because the cells lining the airways are not transporting salt and water normally, mucus and other airway secretions become depleted of water and are abnormally thick. This produces a cascade effect of airway obstruction, inflammation and infection, which are the hallmarks of cystic fibrosis.
Since 1990, Cleveland Clinic has been a referral center for cystic fibrosis patients and others needing lung transplantation. Cleveland Clinic lung transplant team is headed by specialized pulmonary physicians including a transplant pulmonologist and lung transplant surgeon, and has the facilities and support to assist cystic fibrosis patients and their families throughout the evaluation, surgery and post-transplant stages.
Make an appointment concerning cystic fibrosis. Or call 216.444.6503 or 800.223.2273 Ext. 4-6503 to schedule an appointment with one of the Cleveland Clinic pulmonary physicians.