Common tests for cystic fibrosis
Aminu Mohammed is a pediatric gastroenterologist at GI Care for Kids, where he leads the efforts on pancreatic disorders.
Besides the tests to diagnose Cystic Fibrosis (CF), other tests can be done to see how the lungs and pancreas are functioning. Together, these tests can detect early signs of problems developing. And many of them are repeated every few months to monitor the patients health.
- A pulmonary function test is a breathing test that tells how well the lungs are working. A person takes a deep breath and then blows into a machine that measures how deep and fully that person can breathe. The machine produces a report and often a line drawing that shows that person's breathing pattern.
- The mucus someone coughs up or spits out can be checked for bacteria that cause lung infections. These tests, called sputum cultures, can also identify the antibiotics that would be best to fight the infection.
- Blood tests can check for infections, liver disease, diabetes, nutrition status, vitamin levels, and the side effects of medicines and much more.
- Stool tests can be used to look for small amount of blood and to monitor the amount of malabsorption present. They can tell if someone with CF has enough pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) balanced for their needs.
TABLE: Common Tests in Cystic Fibrosis
|Complete Blood Count (CBC)
|White Blood CellsRed Blood Cells Platelets
|Basic Metabolic Profile (BMP)
|Sodium, potassiumChloride, carbon dioxideBUN, Creatnine
|Hydration, low or high salts Acid (pH) balance
Hydration, Kidney function
|Liver Function Panel
|Liver enzymesBilirubinAlbumin, proteins
|Calcium in blood stream(does not measure what's in the bones)
|BMP, Liver panel, Calcium
|Combination of these tests
|A or CaroteneDEB12 and folate
|Fat absorption Bone density Fat absorption, anemian B vitamins
|Protime (PT) and PTT
|Vitamin K & liver Function
|Bone, ricketsOften low if calcium isCan get low with diarrhea
|Enzyme that breaks down protein
|Pancreatic enzyme in the body
|Fat that's not absorbed
|Acid in bowel movement
|Sugars in bowel movement
|Blood that can't be seen
|Blood from GI tract
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