What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common life-threatening genetic disorders in the UK. One in twenty-five healthy people also carry a copy of the abnormal gene, though only those with two abnormal copies will show the clinical features of CF.
Cystic fibrosis primarily affects the lungs, with repeated chest infections and breathlessness, but also has important effects on nutrition, diabetes, bones and joints. There is a wide variation in how severely individual patients are affected. Many patients can lead almost normal lives, whilst others are more severely affected, and each week in the UK three young lives are lost to CF. Input of care is required from a range of different specialists as many organs can be affected by Cystic fibrosis.

Healthy Lungs

CF lungs showing scarring and pockets of infection


CF airways removed at transplant showing thick mucus plugs


 For more information about Cystic Fibrosis please visit the Cystic Fibrosis Trust website at www.cftrust.org.uk.

Last Reviewed: 03/07/2015