About Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis and Liver: The Implications and the Possible Treatments

Cystic fibrosis (CF) hits different parts of the body and can also cause liver disease. However, only a small percentage of CF patients (about 20%) suffer from this problem. Nevertheless, since the liver is one of the most vital organs in the body, it’s still extremely important to pay the necessary medical attention and provide adequate treatment.

Why CF Patients Develop Liver Diseases

Liver problems in cystic fibrosis usually develop before or during puberty. After teenage years liver disease will usually not arise.

Liver illness is caused by a defective or missing cystic fibrosis transmembre conductance regulator (CFTR) which is present in bile ductular cells. This alteration causes abnormal thickness of bile and reduced bile flow due to lost mucous protection.

Available Treatments for CF Patients

There are a variety of treatments that can be undertaken to suppress the development of this harmful disease caused by cystic fibrosis:

1. Ursodeoxycholic Acid

This medication is used to prevent liver disease in people with cystic fibrosis. In fact, it is the only medication used to prevent this disease.

Ursodeoxycholic acid is a naturally occurring bile acid which helps in regulating cholesterol absorption in the intestines.

2. Endoscopy

Endoscopy is actually a procedure to determine the severity of the liver damage in cystic fibrosis. It can also confirm any internal bleeding.

Normally, a tube with a built-in camera is thrust into the mouth. A live image of the internal organs will then appear in a monitor, allowing the doctor to clearly see the conditions of the patient’s liver.

3. Organ Transplant

Just like in lung transplantation, the liver transplant could be an option for patients suffering from liver disease.

There are many ways on how cystic fibrosis sufferers can look for an organ donor. For one, they can start from their own family. If the damage isn’t that big, he/she can just make use of a portion of a healthy liver from a living person. Another option is to seek help from the medical facility or from organ donor organizations.

Nevertheless, while the patient suffering from cystic fibrosis is still in the process of waiting for a liver transplant, he may need to strengthen his immune system and look for ways to delay the deterioration of the organ. Otherwise, if it’s gravely infected, the patient may no longer be considered for a liver transplant, as he will be more prone to infection after surgery.

Disclaimer: This website provides general information about cystic fibrosis and in no means should be taken as a medical or health advice. Please consult your doctor before acting on any of its information.