Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening disorder that causes severe lung damage and nutritional deficiencies.
An inherited disease, cystic fibrosis affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat, saliva and digestive juices. Normally, these secretions are thin and slippery, but in cystic fibrosis, a defective gene causes the secretions to become thick and sticky. Instead of acting as a lubricant, the secretions plug up tubes, ducts and passageways, especially in the pancreas and lungs.
Respiratory failure is the most dangerous consequence of cystic fibrosis. Also, the secretions block pancreatic enzymes that help digest fats and proteins, and they prevent your body from absorbing key vitamins.
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is committed to providing accurate and reliable information for transplant patients. The content on this page was originally created on May 5, 2006 by UNOS and last modified on March 11, 2012. The following sources were used as references:
The Journal of the American Medical Association, retrieved May 11, 2006.
National Library of Medicine, retrieved May 11, 2006.
Mayo Clinic, retrieved May 11, 2006.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, retrieved May 11, 2006.
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