Hepatobiliary abnormalities and disease in cystic fibrosis: Epidemiology and outcomes through adulthood

Sidharth Bhardwaj, Karen Canlas, Charles Kahi, M'Hamed Temkit, Jean Molleston, Michael Ober, Michelle Howenstine, Paul Y. Kwo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: There is limited data regarding the prevalence of hepatobiliary disease in North American patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) through adulthood. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of, and risk factors for, CF-related hepatobiliary abnormalities and determine factors that predict the development of CF-related hepatobiliary disease. METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of all CF patients who presented to a UnitedStates tertiary care referral academic center over a 32-year period. "CF-related hepatobiliary abnormality" was defined as the presence of abnormal liver chemistries on one or more occasion and "CF-related hepatobiliary disease" was defined as biochemical, physical examination, or ultrasonographic abnormalities on at least 2 consecutive examinations spanning a 1-year period. RESULTS: Two-hundred eighty-three CF patients who presented between the years 1970 and 2002 were identified, with an age range of 2 months to 63 years. Sixty-five percent had CF-related hepatobiliary abnormalities with a higher prevalence seen in CF patients <18 years of age (84% vs. 16%, P<0.01). Fifteen percent of our cohort had CF-related hepatobiliary disease with 93% of cases occurring in individuals before age 18. One quarter of individuals with CF-related hepatobiliary abnormalities developed hepatobiliary disease. CONCLUSIONS: Abnormal liver chemistries in CF are common though most of CF patients lack clinical evidence of liver disease and the severe complications of fibrosis/cirrhosis are rare. The risk of liver involvement decreases significantly with age, falling by 10% per annum for those described as having CF-related hepatobiliary disease. CF-related hepatobiliary disease is a rare occurrence after age 18.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)858-864
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009


  • Adult
  • Cohort study
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Disease manifestations
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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