A new cross-sectional cohort study has found that mucus build-up and not infections can trigger cystic fibrosis (CF) lung damage.

Investigators believe their research suggests doctors might be able to delay the onset of lung disease in young children born with CF and possibly allow them to live significantly longer if they are able to use early treatments that thin out mucus.

Investigators from the UNC School of Medicine carried out the cross-sectional cohort study of 46 Australian children with CF and 16 others with asthma and other non-CF airway ailments. Investigators compared measurements of mucins, infection, and inflammation in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) collected from preschool children with CF to BALF collected from age-matched, disease control children.

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