Clinician-to-Clinician Update Clinician-to-Clinician Update

Pediatric Specialty Updates

August 2016

Identifying links between body composition and lung function

Elissa Downs, MD, and Sarah Jane Schwarzenberg, MD, are studying the relationships among improved fat absorption, lung function, and survival in CF patients in hopes of identifying a better marker for preservation of lung function. Details of body composition, such as lean body mass, may determine more specifically which components of nutrition are important for optimal health for people with CF, the researchers maintain. Using air displacement plethysmography, Drs. Downs and Schwarzenberg will determine body composition of children 4 years of age and younger with CF longitudinally at each quarterly CF visit. This data will be compared to data from healthy children and analyzed against the patients’ initial pulmonary data at age 6 years to determine if lean body mass is a better marker for preservation of lung function than weight is.

201389 Laguna and Schwarzenberg 08.16
— Drs. Terri Laguna and Sarah Jane Scwarzenberg

Characterizing markers of lung disease in CF patients

A new study seeks to aid early detection of lung disease in young patients with CF. Study investigators will measure concentrations of biomarkers of lung injury in urine, blood, and bronchial alveolar lavage fluid from CF infants in hopes of providing a means to identify illness before more severe symptoms emerge. Principal investigator Terri Laguna, MD, MSCS, leads the prospective, observational cohort study of 2 CF populations and control groups. She plans to characterize these biomarker concentrations during a patient’s first 2 years of life with the goal of determining if their profiles alone or in combination are potentially useful indicators of early lung disease in CF.

Study of insulin therapy for CF patients launched

A new study seeks to determine whether insulin therapy improves protein catabolism in youth with CF and abnormal glucose tolerance and will explore differences in efficacy between standard-care multiple daily pre-meal insulin dosing versus use of a once daily basal insulin dose. Abnormalities in insulin secretion begin in childhood, and CF-related diabetes is present in more than half of the adult CF population. CF-related diabetes is associated with weight loss, protein catabolism, loss of lean body mass, and early death from lung disease and malnutrition. The trial is led by Antoinette Moran, MD.

For information on clinical trials, contact our CF Research Office at 612-625-7995.

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