Clinico-Epidemiological Characteristics of Children with Cystic Fibrosis: A Tertiary Care Experience

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Brief description: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is considered to be rare among individuals from Bangladesh. The objective of the study was to delineate the clinico-epidemiological characteristics of pediatric cystic fibrosis cases. This observational study included pediatric patients (up to 14 years of age) with a clinical diagnosis of CF. Data were collected within the period from February 2021 and October 2021. Written informed consent was obtained from the accompanying parent. Clinical and epidemiological characteristics were analyzed on the basis of demographic data, medical history, laboratory tests, and outcome information. Data analysis was done with SPSS 26.  A total of 50 patients (66% male) with a mean age of 39.7 ±30.75 (SD) months were included. Twenty-eight patients (57.14%) had siblings with CF, and 41.67% of parents had a history of consanguineous marriage. The majority of them were stunted (86%) and underweight (86%), and half of them had wasting (54%). Median disease duration was 12 months (range: 2 – 72). Cough (100%) and purulent sputum (100%) were the predominant respiratory symptoms, while failure to thrive (98%) and bulky offensive stools (86%) were prime gastrointestinal symptoms. Among the signs, malnutrition (94%), short stature (72%), digital clubbing (64%), and bronchiectasis (40%) were most frequent. Pulmonary hypertension (48%, n=24) was the most common comorbidity identified in the study participants. In hospital, mortality was 16% (n=8). Digital clubbing, bronchiectasis, pancreatic insufficiency, and abnormal liver function tests were significantly higher in the patient who died. Children with cystic fibrosis most commonly present with undernutrition and respiratory symptoms. Failure to thrive was almost a global phenomenon. Pulmonary hypertension was the most common complication found in echocardiography.

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