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Marjolein MijndersSabine A FuchsEdward E S Nieuwenhuis     Possible applications of organoids in medicine. Ned TijdschrGeneeskd  2022 Jan 12;166:D6011.   35138705  [Article in Dutch]      [Pubmed]

Marjolein Mijnders

With the development of organoids as three-dimensional model organs it is now possible to mimic the growth of human organs in a culture dish. As these model organs can be generated from patients’ (diseased) tissue and capture the (genetic) properties thereof, they are more representative disease models than cell lines and animal models. The use of organoids in pathophysiological research has already increased our understanding of many human diseases. Furthermore, organoids are used for patient-specific drug tests for cystic fibrosis, and this will soon be possible for other genetic diseases. Also, transplantation of (own genetically corrected) organoids could become a new treatment option. To fully employ the potential of organoids in medicine, cultures need to be standardized and further optimized for better organ/disease representation. With this, organoids hold the promise to quickly revolutionize personalized and regenerative medicine.

Dr Marjolein Mijnders is at UMC Utrecht, Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis, afd. Maag-, Darm- en Leverziekten, Utrecht.

Ernestina Melicoff Fadel E RuizKathleen HosekGeorge B MalloryCystic Fibrosis Lung Transplant Recipients 10 years of age or Younger: Predisposing Factors for End-stage DiseasePediatr Pulmonol 2022 Mar 3.doi: 10.1002/ppul.25882. Online ahead of print. [Pubmed]

Ernestina Melicoff

Background: The largest age group among children and adolescents referred for lung transplantation for cystic fibrosis (CF) have been those in the pubertal or post pubertal age range. However, over 100 younger patients with CF have undergone lung transplantation over the last three decades in the USA.
Methods: We performed a retrospective review of our experience with 18 children with CF who underwent lung transplantation in our center before the age of 11 years and compared them to our older CF lung transplant recipients and our larger CF Center population.
Results: The transplant population was demographically distinct from our CF center in terms of ethnicity, country of origin, and insurance status. Other notable findings were a high prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a high prevalence of CF-related diabetes mellitus and a high prevalence of consolidated lobar or whole lung disease. Post-transplant outcomes were comparable to those older than 10 years of age in our center until five years after transplant after which the younger cohort showed a superior enduring survival.
Conclusions: In an era of increasingly effective medications modifying the natural history of CF, identification of risk factors for early severe lung disease in CF remains relevant to permit interventions to prevent or postpone the time of future lung transplantation.

 Dr Ernestina Melicoff  is Assistant Professor in the the Section of Pediatric Pulmonology, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital

Julie Mésinèle Manon RuffinLoïc GuillotPierre-Yves BoëlleHarriet CorvolOn Behalf Of The French Cf Modifier Gene Study Investigators.  Factors predisposing the response to Lumacaftor/ivacaftor in people with cystic fibrosis. J Pers Med 2022 Feb 10;12(2):252.doi: 10.3390/jpm12020252. [Pubmed]Free PMC article
Lumacaftor/ivacaftor (LUMA-IVA) therapy is prescribed to people with cystic fibrosis (pwCF) homozygous for the Phe508del-CFTR variant to restore CFTR protein function. There is, however, large inter-individual variability in treatment response. Here, we seek to identify clinical and/or genetic factors that may modulate the response to this CFTR modulator therapy.

A total of 765 pwCF older than 12 years under LUMA-IVA therapy and with lung function and nutritional measurements available before and after treatment initiation were included. Response to treatment was determined by the change in lung function and nutritional status, from baseline and over the first two years after initiation, and it was assessed by weighted generalized estimating equation models. Gains in lung function and nutritional status were observed after 6 months of treatment (on average 2.11 ± 7.81% for percent predicted FEV1 and 0.44 ± 0.77 kg/m2 for BMI) and sustained over the 2 years.

We observed that the more severe patients gained the most in lung function and nutritional status. While females started with a nutritional status more impaired than males, they had a larger response and regained BMI Z-score values similar to men after 2 years of treatment. We observed no association between variants in solute carrier (SLC) genes and the respiratory function response to LUMA-IVA, but the SLC6A14 rs12839137 variant was associated with the nutritional response. Further investigations, including other genomic regions, will be needed to fully explore the inter-individual variability of the response to LUMA-IVA.

Dr Julie Mésinèle is Post-Doctoral Researcher in Biostatistics at the Centre de Recherche Saint-Antoine (CRSA), Inserm, Sorbonne Université, 75012 Paris, France. and Hôpital Saint-Antoine, AP-HP, Institut Pierre Louis d’Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique (iPLESP), Inserm, Sorbonne Université, 75012 Paris, France

Aaron C MillerLogan M Harris , Joseph E CavanaughMahmoud Abou AlaiwaDavid A StoltzDouglas B HornickPhilip M Polgreen. The rapid reduction of infection-related visits and antibiotic use among people with cystic fibrosis after starting Elexacaftor-Tezacaftor-Ivacaftor.  Clin Infect Dis 2022 Feb 10;ciac117.doi: 10.1093/cid/ciac117. Online ahead of print.   [Pubmed

          Aaron Miller

Background: People with cystic fibrosis (CF) routinely suffer from recurrent sino-pulmonary infections. Such infections require frequent courses of antimicrobials and often involve multidrug-resistant organisms. The goal of this study was to identify real-world evidence for the effectiveness of Elexacaftor-Tezacaftor-Ivacaftor (ELX/TEZ/IVA) at decreasing infection-related visits and antimicrobial use in people with CF.
Methods: Using IBM MarketScan data, we identified 389 enrollees with CF who began taking ELX/TEZ/IVA prior to 12/1/2019 and were enrolled from 7/1/2019-3/14/2020. We also identified a comparison population who did not begin ELX/TEZ/IVA during the study period. We compared the following outcomes in the 15 weeks before and after medication initiation: total healthcare visits, inpatient visits, infection-related visits, and antimicrobial prescriptions. We analyzed outcomes using both a case-crossover analysis and a difference-in-differences analysis, to control for underlying trends.
Results: For the case-crossover analysis, ELX/TEZ/IVA initiation was associated with 2.20 (95% CI: -3.26, -1.14) fewer overall healthcare visit-days, 0.16 (95% CI: -0.22, -0.11) fewer inpatient admissions, 0.33 (95% CI: -0.59, -0.07) fewer infection-related visit-days, and 0.78 (95% CI: -1.03, -0.54) fewer antibiotic prescriptions over a 15 week period. Results from the difference-in-differences approach were similar.

Conclusions: We show a rapid reduction of infection-related visits and antimicrobial use among people with CF after starting a therapy that was not explicitly designed to treat infections. Currently, there are over 30,000 people living with CF in the United States alone. Given that this therapy is effective for approximately 90% of people with CF, the impact on respiratory infections and antimicrobial use may be substantial.

Dr Aaron C Miller is at the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.

Amir Moheet Antoinette Moran. New concepts in the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.  J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Feb 2;dgac020.doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgac020.Online ahead of print.    [Pubmed]

Amir Motet

Context: Cystic fibrosis related diabetes (CFRD) is the most common extra pulmonary complication of cystic fibrosis (CF). Around 40% of people with CF above age 20 have CFRD. Presence of CFRD is associated with poor health outcomes in people with CF.
Objective: This review summarizes current knowledge on pathophysiology of CFRD.
Methods: A PubMed review of the literature was conducted, and search terms included CFRD, cystic fibrosis, cystic fibrosis related diabetes, and cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). Additional sources were identified through manual searches of reference lists. The pathophysiology underlying development of glucose tolerance abnormalities in CF is complex and not fully understood. β-cell loss and functional impairment of the remaining β-cell function results in progressive insulin insufficiency. Factors that may contribute to development in CFRD include local islet and systemic inflammation, alterations in the incretion hormone axis, varying degrees of insulin resistance and genetic factors related to type 2 diabetes
Conclusion: The prevalence of CFRD is expected to further increase with improving life expectancy of people with CF. Further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms underlying the development of CFRD and the impact of diabetes on clinical outcomes in CF.

Dr Amir Moheet is in the Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dr Antoinette Moran is in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Danya MuilwijkEyleen de PoelPeter van MourikSylvia W F SuenAnnelotte M Vonk Jesse E Brunsveld  et al.(please see PubMed abstract for full author list).  Forskolin-induced Organoid Swelling is Associated with Long-term CF Disease Progression.  Eur Respir J 2022 Jan 27;2100508.doi: 10.1183/13993003.00508-2021. Online ahead of print.  [Pubmed]

    Danya Muilwijk

Rationale: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a monogenic life-shortening disease associated with highly variable individual disease progression which is difficult to predict. Here we assessed the association of forskolin-induced swelling (FIS) of patient-derived organoids (PDO) with long-term CF disease progression in multiple organs and compared FIS with the golden standard biomarker sweat chloride concentration (SCC).
Methods: We retrieved 9-year longitudinal clinical data from the Dutch CF Registry of 173 people with mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. Individual CFTR function was defined by FIS, measured as the relative size increase of intestinal organoids after stimulation with 0.8 µM forskolin, quantified as area under the curve (AUC). We used linear mixed effect models and multivariable logistic regression to estimate the association of FIS with long-term FEV1pp decline and development of pancreatic insufficiency, CF-related liver disease and diabetes. Within these models, FIS was compared with SCC.
Results: FIS was strongly associated with longitudinal changes of lung function, with an estimated difference in annual FEV1pp decline of 0.32% (95%CI: 0.11%-0.54%; p=0.004) per 1000-points change in AUC. Moreover, increasing FIS levels were associated with lower odds of developing pancreatic insufficiency (adjusted OR: 0.18, 95%CI: 0.07-0.46, p<0.001), CF-related liver disease (adjusted OR: 0.18, 95%CI: 0.06-0.54, p=0.002) and diabetes (adjusted OR: 0.34, 95%CI: 0.12-0.97, p=0.044). These associations were absent for SCC.

Conclusion: This study exemplifies the prognostic value of a PDO-based biomarker within a clinical setting, which is especially important for people carrying rare CFTR mutations with unclear clinical consequences.

Dr Danya Muilwijk is a PhD candidate in the Department of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine, Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Eyleen de Poel  is in the Department of Regenerative Medicine Utrecht, University Medical Center, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Thi Tham NguyenGraham R JohnsonScott C Bell Luke D Knibbs. A Systematic Literature Review of Indoor Air Disinfection Techniques for Airborne Bacterial Respiratory Pathogens. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2022 Jan 21;19(3):1197.doi: 10.3390/ijerph19031197    Free PMC article    [Pubmed]
Interrupting the transmission of airborne (<≈5 µm) respiratory pathogens indoors is not a new challenge, but it has attracted unprecedented interest due to the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020-2021. However, bacterial respiratory pathogens with known or potential airborne transmission account for an appreciable proportion of the communicable disease burden globally. We aimed to systematically review quantitative, laboratory-based studies of air disinfection techniques for airborne respiratory bacteria. Three databases (PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus) were searched, following PRISMA guidelines. A total of 9596 articles were identified, of which 517 were assessed in detail and of which 26 met the inclusion and quality assessment criteria. Seven air disinfection techniques, including UV-C light, filtration, and face masks, among others, were applied to 13 different bacterial pathogens. More than 80% of studies suggested that air disinfection techniques were more effective at inactivating or killing bacteria than the comparator or baseline condition. However, it was not possible to compare these techniques because of methodological heterogeneity and the relatively small number of the studies. Laboratory studies are useful for demonstrating proof-of-concept and performance under controlled conditions. However, the generalisability of their findings to person-to-person transmission in real-world settings is unclear for most of the pathogens and techniques we assessed.

Thi Tham Nguyen is at the School of Public Health, The University of Queensland, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia

 Qi Ni; Chen X; Zhang P; Yang L; Lu Y; Xiao F; Wu B; Wang H; Zhou W; Dong X.  Systematic estimation of cystic fibrosis prevalence in Chinese and genetic spectrum comparison to Caucasians.  Orphanet Journal Of Rare Diseases. 17(1):129, 2022 03 21. Free article  [Pubmed]
Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a common, life-threatening genetic disease in Caucasians but rarely reported in Chinese population. The prevalence and population-specific genetic spectrum of CF in China needs to be systematically estimated and compared with Caucasians.
Materials and methods: We reviewed 30,951 exome-sequencing samples, including 20,909 pediatric patient samples and 10,042 parent samples, from Chinese Children’s Rare Disease Genetic Testing Clinical Collaboration System (CCGT). After the in-lab filtration process, 477 candidate variants of CFTR gene were left and 53 variants were manually curated as pathogenic/likely-pathogenic (P/LP). These P/LP variants were adopted to estimate CF prevalence in three methods: the carrier frequency method, the permutation-combinations method and the Bayesian framework method. Allele frequencies of the 477 CFTR variants were compared with non-Finland European (NFE) and East Asian (EAS) from gnomAD database. To investigate the haplotype structure difference of CFTR, another 2067 whole-genome-sequencing samples from CCGT and 195 NFE from 1000 genome project were analyzed by Shapeit4 software.
Result: With the 53 manually curated P/LP variants in CFTR gene, we excluded individuals identified or suspected with CF and their parents in our cohorts and estimated the Chinese CF prevalence is approximately 1/128,434. Only 21 (39.6%) of the 53 variants were included in Caucasian specific CF screening panels, resulting in significantly under-estimation of CF prevalence in our children cohort (1/143,171 vs. 1/1,387,395, P = 5e-24) and parent’s cohort (1/110,127 vs. 1/872,437, P = 7e-10). The allele frequencies of six pathogenic variants (G970D, D979A, M469V, G622D, L88X, 1898+5G->T) were significantly higher in our cohorts compared with gnomAD-NFE population (all P-value < 0.1). Haplotype analysis showed more haplotype diversity in Chinese compared to Caucasians. In addition, G970D and F508del were founder mutation of Chinese and Caucasians with two SNPs (rs213950-rs1042077) identified as related genotype in exon region.

Conclusions: Chinese population showed significantly different genetic spectrum pattern in CFTR gene compared with Caucasian population, and thus a Chinese-specific CF screening panel is needed.

Qi Ni is at the Children’s Hospital and Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, National Children’s Medical Center, Shanghai, 201102, People’s Republic of China and the Center for Molecular Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Fudan University, National Children’s Medical Center, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China.

Mette F OlsenMaria S Kjøller-SvarreGrith MøllerTerese L KatzensteinBibi U NielsenTacjana PresslerJack I LewisInger H MathiesenChristian MølgaardDaniel Faurholt-JepsenCorrelates of Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy Intake in Adults with Cystic Fibrosis: Results of a Cross-Sectional Study Nutrients 2022 Mar 22;14(7):1330. doi: 10.3390/nu14071330.  [Pubmed]

   Mette F Olsen

Most people with cystic fibrosis (pwCF) develop pancreatic insufficiency and are treated with pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT). We aimed to describe the use of PERT and assess the correlates of PERT dose in adult pwCF. In a cross-sectional study at the Copenhagen CF Centre, the participants reported PERT intake, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and the use of concomitant treatments. Demographic and clinical characteristics were extracted from the Danish CF Registry. We used linear regression to assess the correlates of PERT dose per kg bodyweight (U-lipase/kg). We included 120 pwCF with a median age of 32.9 years, 46% women and 72% F508delta homozygote. The PERT dose ranged from 0 to 6160 U-lipase/kg per main meal (mean 1828; SD 1115). The PERT dose was associated with participants’ sex (men vs. women: 661; 95% CI: 302; 1020 U-lipase/kg), age (-16; 95% CI: -31; -1 U-lipase/kg per year) and weight (-45; 95% CI: -58; -31 U-lipase/kg per kg). Having less frequent constipation and being lung transplanted were also associated with a higher PERT dose. A third of participants did not take PERT for snacks, and this was associated with the frequency of diarrhoea. These findings indicate that PERT intake may be improved to reduce GI symptoms.

Dr Mette F Olsen is Associate Professor at the Cystic Fibrosis Centre, Department of Infectious Diseases, Rigshospitalet, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark and the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, 1958 Frederiksberg, Denmark.

Lucy Perrem Sanja StanojevicMelinda Solomon Hartmut GrasemannNeil SweezeyValerie WatersDon B SandersStephanie D DavisFelix Ratjen Evaluation of clinically relevant changes in the lung clearance index in children with cystic fibrosis and healthy controlsThorax. 2022 Apr 15;thoraxjnl-2021-218347.doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2021-218347.Online ahead of print. [Pubmed]

Lucy Perrem

Background: The limits of reproducibility of the lung clearance index (LCI) are higher in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) compared with healthy children, and it is currently unclear what defines a clinically meaningful change.
Methods: In a prospective multisite observational study of children with CF and healthy controls (HCs), we measured LCI, FEV1% predicted and symptom scores at quarterly visits over 2 years. Two reviewers performed a detailed review of visits to evaluate the frequency that between visit LCI changes outside ±10%, ±15%, ±20% represented a clinically relevant signal. In the setting of acute respiratory symptoms, we used a generalised estimating equation model, with a logit link function to determine the ability of LCI worsening at different thresholds to predict failure of lung function recovery at follow-up.
Results: Clinically relevant LCI changes outside ±10%, ±15% and ±20% were observed at 25.7%, 15.0% and 8.3% of CF visits (n=744), respectively. The proportions of LCI changes categorised as noise, reflecting biological variability, were comparable between CF and HC at the 10% (CF 9.9% vs HC 13.0%), 15% (CF 4.3% vs HC 3.1%) and 20% (CF 2.4% vs HC 1.0%) thresholds. Compared with symptomatic CF visits without a worsening in LCI, events with ≥10% LCI increase were more likely to fail to recover baseline LCI at follow-up.

Conclusion: The limits of reproducibility of the LCI in healthy children can be used to detect clinically relevant changes and thus inform clinical care in children with CF.

Dr Lucy Perrem is involved with the Division of Respiratory Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Postgraduate Medical Education, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland. National Children’s Research Centre, Dublin, Ireland.   Department of Paediatrics, The University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Translational Medicine Program, SickKids Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Philip M PolgreenAlejandro P Comellas.  Clinical Phenotypes of Cystic Fibrosis CarriersAnnu Rev Med 2022 Jan 27;73:563-574.doi: 10.1146/annurev-med-042120-020148.

Philip M Polgreen

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder caused by mutations in CFTR, the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene. People with CF experience a wide variety of medical conditions that affect the pulmonary, endocrine, gastrointestinal, pancreatic, biliary, and reproductive systems.

Traditionally, CF carriers, with one defective copy of CFTR, were not thought to be at risk for CF-associated diseases. However, an emerging body of literature suggests that heterozygotes are at increased risk for many of the same conditions as homozygotes. For example, heterozygotes appear to be at increased risk for chronic pancreatitis, atypical mycobacterial infections, and bronchiectasis. In the United States alone, there are almost 10 million CF carriers. Universal newborn screening and prenatal genetic screening will identify more. Thus, there is a critical need to develop more precise estimates of health risks attributable to the CF carrier state across the lifespan.

Philip M Polgreen is Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA

Rathin PujariBhairavi BhatiaErika Marie DamatoPhilip AlexanderSuccessful non-surgical treatment of pseudomonas choroidal abscess in cystic fibrosis with previous double lung transplantationBMJ Case Rep 2022 Jan 13;15(1):e245238.doi: 10.1136/bcr-2021-245238.    [Pubmed]
Pseudomonas aeruginosa choroidal abscess is a rare condition which tends to affect patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) who have undergone double lung transplantation. Various surgical treatment strategies have been described but almost universally have had a dismal prognosis. We present a case of pseudomonas choroidal abscess in a CF patient with previous double lung transplantation who was managed with medical treatment, with intravitreal and systemic antibiotics, without surgical intervention, which led to successful resolution of the choroidal abscess, preservation of the eye and retention of vision.

Rathin Pujari in the Department of Ophthalmology, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK.

Hunter RaganElizabeth AutryTaryn BomersbackJennifer HewlettLauren KormelinkJulie SafirsteinLaura ShanleyLisa Lubsch.  The use of elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor in patients with cystic fibrosis post-liver transplant: A case seriesPediatr Pulmonol 2022 Feb;57(2):411-417. doi: 10.1002/ppul.25779. Epub 2021 Dec 12. [Pubmed]
Introduction: Cystic fibrosis (CF)-related liver disease (CFLD) manifests as a wide spectrum of hepatobiliary disease and can progress to need liver transplantation. Elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor (elx/tez/iva) is a cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator modulator that has superior efficacy compared to previously approved modulators. Use of elx/tez/iva, should be approached with caution in individuals with CFLD or following liver transplantation due to possible increases in liver function tests (LFTs) and drug-drug interactions with several immunosuppressant medications.
Objective: The purpose of this case series is to explore if the use of elx/tez/iva is safe and tolerable in patients with CF postliver transplantation.
Methods: A retrospective case series including patients prescribed elx/tez/iva following liver transplantation and an immunosuppressive regimen consisting of drug therapy metabolized by P-glycoprotein was completed.
Results: Ten patients at six CF centers with a median age of 22.1 years (range 14-43.4 years) and the median time from the transplant of 6.9 years (range 0.6-22 years) were included. Most patients (8, 80%) received a reduced or full dose of elx/tez/iva for a mean duration of 10.4 months (range 7-12 months). Fluctuations in LFTs occurred in all patients (10, 100%) and led to therapy discontinuation in two patients (20%). Elx/tez/iva initiation resulted in elevations in tacrolimus trough concentration in seven patients (70%). Most patients who tolerated elx/tez/iva had symptomatic and quality of life improvement, increased body mass index, and maintained or improved lung function.

Conclusion: Initiation of elx/tez/iva in patients with CF who received liver transplantation may be safe with clinical benefits.

Hunter Ragan is at the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Luc RakotoarisoaClothilde WagnerMarion MunchBenjamin Renaud PicardDominique GrenetAnne OllandMichel GregetIulian EnescuFlorence BouilloudPierre BonnetteAxel GuthDomenico BoscoCatherine MercierMuriel RabilloudThierry BerneyPierre Yves BenhamouGilbert Massard Coralie Camilo, Cyrille ColinCécile ArnoldRomain KesslerLaurence KesslerGRAGIL-TREPID group.   Feasibility and efficacy of combined pancreatic islet-lung transplantation in cystic fibrosis related diabetes -PIM study: a multicenter phase 1-2 trial. Am J Transplant 2022 Apr 11.doi: 10.1111/ajt.17058. Online ahead of print. [Pubmed]
Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes (CFRD) is a common complication of cystic fibrosis (CF), and restoring metabolic control in these patients may improve their management after lung transplantation. In this this multicenter, prospective, phase 1-2 trial, we evaluate the feasibility and metabolic efficacy of combined pancreatic islet-lung transplantation from a single donor in patients with CFRD, terminal respiratory failure and poorly controlled diabetes. Islets were infused via the portal vein under local anesthesia, one week after lung transplantation. At one year, the primary outcome was transplant success as evaluated by a composite score including four parameters (weight, fasting glycaemia, HbA1c, insulin requirements). 10 participants (age: 24 years [17-31], diabetes duration: 8 years [4-12]) received a combined islet-lung transplant with 2892 IEQ/kg [2293 – 6185]. Transplant success was achieved in 7/10 participants at one year post-transplant. Fasting plasma C-peptide increased from 0.91μg/L [0.56-1.29] to 1.15μg/L [0.77-2.2], HbA1c decreased from 7.8% [6.5-8.3] (62 mmol/mol [48-67]) to 6.7% [5.5-8.0] (50 mmol/mol [37-64]), with 38% decrease in daily insulin doses. No complications related to the islet injection procedure were reported. In this pilot study, combined pancreatic islet-lung transplantation restored satisfactory metabolic control and pulmonary function in patients with CF, without increasing the morbidity of lung transplantation.

Luc Rakotoarisoa is in the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, Strasbourg University Hospital, France and Inserm UMR 1260, Regenerative Nanomedicine, Strasbourg, France

Kathleen J RamosJennifer S GuimbellotMaryam ValapourLauren E BartlettTravis Hee WaiChristopher H GossJoseph M PilewskiAlbert FaroJoshua M DiamondCFLTC Study GroupUse of elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor among cystic fibrosis lung transplant recipientsJ Cyst Fibros 2022 Apr 23;S1569-1993(22)00098-4.doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2022.04.009.Online ahead of print. [Pubmed]

     Kathleen J Ramos

Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) lung transplant (LT) recipients may warrant treatment with elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor (ETI) to improve extrapulmonary manifestations of CF. Our objectives were to identify reasons for prescribing ETI after LT and evaluate changes in body mass index (BMI), hemoglobin A1c, hemoglobin, and liver enzymes.
Methods: This was an electronic health record-based cohort study, October 2019-September 2020, at 14 CF LT Consortium sites in North America. The study included CF LT recipients prescribed ETI after transplant. Differences in BMI, A1c, and hemoglobin were assessed with paired t-tests.
Results: There were 94 patients prescribed ETI; indications included sinus disease (68%), GI symptoms (39%), or low BMI (19%). Prescriptions were written by CF physicians (34%), LT physicians (27%), or physicians who practice both CF and LT (39%). Forty patients (42%) stopped ETI at a median of 56 days [IQR 26, 139] after start/prescription date. ETI was not associated with a significant change in BMI (0.2 kg/m2, 95% CI [-0.1, 0.6], p = 0.150), but was associated with decreased A1c (0.4%, 95% CI 0.2, 0.7, p = 0.003), and increased hemoglobin for patients with anemia (0.6 g/dL, 95% CI 0.2, 1.0, p = 0.007). Three people (3%) stopped ETI due to elevated transaminases.

Conclusions: ETI is rarely prescribed for non-pulmonary indications after LT for CF. Further study is needed to determine the risks and benefits of ETI in the CF lung transplant population given the potential for drug interactions, side effects leading to discontinuation of ETI, and the possible mechanisms for ETI to positively impact long-term post-transplant outcomes.

Kathleen J Ramos is in the Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Box 356522, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

Mitchell L RamseyMichael R WellnerKyle PorterStephen E KirkbySusan S Li Luis F Lara Sean G KellyA James HanjeLindsay A SobotkaCystic fibrosis patients on cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator modulators have a reduced incidence of cirrhosisWorld J Hepatol 2022 Feb 27;14(2):411-419.doi: 10.4254/wjh.v14.i2.411. Free PMC article    [Pubmed]

     Mitchell Ramsey

Background: Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) modulators significantly improve pulmonary function in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) but the effect on hepatobiliary outcomes remains unknown. We hypothesized that CF patients on CFTR modulators would have a decreased incidence of cirrhosis compared to patients not on CFTR modulators or on ursodiol.
Aim: To investigate the effect of CFTR modulators on the development of cirrhosis in patients with CF.
Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed using Truven MarketScan from    January 2012 through December 2017 including all patients with a diagnosis of CF. Patients were excluded if they underwent a liver transplantation or if they had other etiologies of liver disease including viral hepatitis or alcohol use. Subjects were grouped by use of CFTR modulators, ursodiol, dual therapy, or no therapy. The primary outcome was development of cirrhosis. Kaplan-Meier curves estimated the incidence of cirrhosis and log-rank tests compared incidence curves between treatment groups.
Results: A total of 7201 patients were included, of which 955 (12.6%) used a CFTR modulator, 529 (7.0%) used ursodiol, 105 (1.4%) used combination therapy, and 5612 (74.3%) used neither therapy. The incidence of cirrhosis was 0.1% at 1 year and 0.7% at 4 years in untreated patients, 5.9% and 10.1% in the Ursodiol group, and 1.0% and 1.0% in patients who received both therapies. No patient treated with CFTR modulators alone developed cirrhosis. Patients on CFTR modulators alone had lower cirrhosis incidence than untreated patients (P = 0.05), patients on Ursodiol (P < 0.001), and patients on dual therapy (P = 0.003). The highest incidence of cirrhosis was found among patients treated with Ursodiol alone, compared to untreated patients (P < 0.001) or patients on Ursodiol and CFTR modulators (P = 0.01).

Conclusion: CFTR modulators are associated with a reduction in the incidence of cirrhosis compared to other therapies in patients with CF.

Dr Mitchell L Ramsey is in the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH 43210, United States.

Felix RatjenDonald R VanDevanter.  Retracing changes in cystic fibrosis understanding and management over the past twenty years.  J Cyst Fibros 2022 Jan;21(1):3-9.doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2021.09.015.Epub 2021 Oct 1.[Pubmed]


Donald R VanDevanter

    Felix Ratjen


I summarised the contents of this article as follows – This is an excellent review of the past 20 years describing the state of the art in 2002 through to 2022. Important milestone between 2002 and 2022 are described including the building of a clinical research structure, encounter based registries, the adoption of newborn screening, consensus guidelines and the Cochrane Database analysis, alternate measures of lung physiology and function, improved delivery of inhaled therapy, improved knowledge of airway microbiology, use of animal models, newer therapies and CFTR modulators, efficacy studies in paediatric CF populations with mild lung disease.
The authors conclude that CF is a multiorgan disease and CF research and care encompass a broad variety of disciplines, from basic science to epidemiology to drug development. They note the exponential rise of research at the same time as the Journal of Cystic Fibrosis was established and the importance of a journal dealing solely with cystic fibrosis.

The article puts to past 20 years nicely in perspective and can be firmly recommended, particularly to younger professionals who have not experienced to earlier part of the last 20 years.

Felix Ratjen is Professor in the Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Paediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto, Canada.

Donald VanDevanter Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH USA.

Emily E RicottaD Rebecca PrevotsKenneth N Olivier. CFTR modulator use and risk of nontuberculous mycobacteria positivity in cystic fibrosis, 2011-2018ERJ Open Res 2022 Apr 11;8(2):00724-2021.doi: 10.1183/23120541.00724-2021.eCollection 2022 Apr.   Free PMC article   [Pubmed]

       Emily Ricotta

Background: People with cystic fibrosis are at increased risk of pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) disease. Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) modulators are associated with reduced lung infection with pathogens like Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. This association has not been studied with NTM.
Methods: Using encounter-level data from the US Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry from 2011 to 2018, we identified individuals aged >12 years with one or more NTM-negative sputum culture and information on receipt of ivacaftor therapy. We used a Cox proportional hazards model to assess the relationship between CFTR modulator usage (any and monotherapy versus combination therapy) and NTM sputum culture positivity, controlling for sex, least severe class of CFTR mutation, receipt of chronic macrolides, age, body mass index and percentage predicted forced expiratory volume.
Results: Out of 25 987 unique individuals, 17 403 individuals met inclusion criteria. During follow-up, 42% of individuals received CFTR modulator therapy, and 23% had incident NTM. The median (interquartile range) time to event was 6.1 (4.0-7.3) years for those ever receiving CFTR modulators compared to 4.0 (1.6-6.5) years in those never receiving CFTR modulators. CFTR modulator use was associated with a significantly reduced hazard of NTM culture positivity (hazard ratio (HR) 0.88, 95% CI 0.79-0.97); there was no significant difference in the hazard between those receiving ivacaftor monotherapy versus combination therapy (combination HR 1.01, 95% CI 0.79-1.23).

Conclusions: CFTR modulator therapy is associated with a decreased risk of NTM positivity in individuals with cystic fibrosis.

Dr Emily E Ricotta is an epidemiologist in the Dept of Epidemiology and Population Studies Unit, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, USA.

Shan RikuHerman HedrianaJacqueline A CarozzaJennifer HoskovecReflex single-gene non-invasive prenatal testing is associated with markedly better detection of fetuses affected with single-gene recessive disorders at lower costJ Med Econ Jan-Dec 2022;25(1):403-411. doi: 10.1080/13696998.2022.2053384. Free article [Pubmed]

Shan Riku

Objective: To evaluate the clinical benefits and achievable cost savings associated with the adoption of a carrier screen with reflex single-gene non-invasive prenatal test (sgNIPT) in prenatal care.
Method: A decision-analytic model was developed to compare carrier screen with reflex sgNIPT (maternal carrier status and fetal risk reported together) as first-line carrier screening to the traditional carrier screening workflow (positive maternal carrier screen followed by paternal screening to evaluate fetal risk). The model compared the clinical outcomes and healthcare costs associated with the two screening methods. These results were used to simulate appropriate pricing for reflex sgNIPT.
Results: Reflex sgNIPT carrier screening-detected 108 of 110 affected pregnancies per 100,000 births (98.5% sensitivity), whereas traditional carrier screening-detected 46 of 110 affected pregnancies (41.5% sensitivity). The cost to identify one affected pregnancy was reduced by 62% in the reflex sgNIPT scenario compared to the traditional scenario. Adding together the testing cost savings and the savings from earlier clinical intervention made possible by reflex sgNIPT, the total cost savings was $37.6 million per 100,000 pregnancies. Based on these cost savings, we simulated appropriate reflex sgNIPT pricing range: if the cost to identify one affected pregnancy is the unit cost, carrier screening with reflex sgNIPT can be priced up to $1,859 per test (or $7,233 if sgNIPT is billed separately); if the cost per 100,000 pregnancies is the unit cost, carrier screening with sgNIPT can be priced up to $1,070 per test (or $2,336 if sgNIPT is billed separately).

Conclusion: Using the carrier screen with reflex sgNIPT as first-line screening improves the detection of affected fetuses by 2.4-fold and can save costs for the healthcare system. A real-life experience will be needed to assess the clinical utility and exact cost savings of carrier screen with reflex sgNIPT.

 Shan Riku is SVP of Product at BillionToOne, Inc., Menlo Park, CA, USA.

Jobst F RoehmelFriederike J DoerflerCordula Koerner-RettbergFolke BrinkmannAnne SchlegtendalMartin WetzkeIsa RudolfSimone HelmsJoerg Große-OnnebrinkYin YuThomas NuessleinIrena Wojsyk-BanaszakSebastian BeckeOlaf EickmeierOlaf SommerburgHeymut OmranMirjam StahlMarcus A Mall     Comparison of the Lung Clearance Index in Preschool Children with Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia and Cystic Fibrosis     Chest. 2022 Mar 7;S0012-3692(22)00421-4.doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2022.02.052.Online ahead of print. [Pubmed]

        Jobst Roshmel

Background: Previous studies have shown that the lung clearance index (LCI) determined by multiple-breath washout (MBW) is sensitive to detect early lung disease in preschool children with cystic fibrosis (CF). In preschool children with primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), data on the onset and severity of lung disease and on the sensitivity of the LCI as a noninvasive quantitative outcome measure remain limited.
Research and study question: Is MBW feasible and sensitive to detect ventilation inhomogeneity in preschool children with PCD?
Study design and methods: This was a prospective cross-sectional multicenter study and included preschoolers with PCD and preschoolers with CF and healthy controls. LCI was determined using nitrogen MBW, and compared between the three groups.
Results: LCI was determined in 27 children with PCD, 34 children with CF and 30 healthy controls (mean age, 4.8 years; range, 2.2 – 6.9 years). The LCI in preschool children with PCD was increased (median, 9.1; CI 95%, 8.6-10.3) compared to healthy controls (median, 7.0; CI 95%, 6.7-7.1), (P < 0.0001), but did not differ from preschool children with CF (median, 8.6; CI 95%, 8.4-9.7), (P = 0.71). The feasibility in the PCD group was 93.1% and was similar to that in the CF group (91.9%) and in healthy controls (85.7%), (P = 0.55).
Interpretation: This study demonstrates early onset of lung disease in preschool children with PCD and indicates that lung disease severity in PCD may be similar to that in CF during preschool years. These data support a need for early diagnostic monitoring and therapy and suggest the LCI as a noninvasive diagnostic tool and as a potential endpoint in clinical trials testing early interventions in children with PCD.

Dr Jobst F Roehmel is consultant paediatrician in the Department of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine, Immunology and Critical Care Medicine, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Bhaswati RoyMarlyn S WooSusana VacasPatricia EshaghianAdupa P RaoRajesh KumarRegional brain tissue changes in patients with cystic fibrosis. J Transl Med 2021 Oct 9;19(1):419.doi: 10.1186/s12967-021-03092-x.[Pubmed]  Free PMC article

BHaswati Roy and Rajesh Kumar

Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) patients present with a variety of symptoms, including mood and cognition deficits, in addition to classical respiratory, and autonomic issues. This suggests that brain injury, which can be examined with non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), is a manifestation of this condition. However, brain tissue integrity in sites that regulate cognitive, autonomic, respiratory, and mood functions in CF patients is unclear. Our aim was to assess regional brain changes using high-resolution T1-weighted images based gray matter (GM) density and T2-relaxometry procedures in CF over control subjects.
Methods: We acquired high-resolution T1-weighted images and proton-density (PD) and T2-weighted images from 5 CF and 15 control subjects using a 3.0-Tesla MRI. High-resolution T1-weighted images were partitioned to GM-tissue type, normalized to a common space, and smoothed. Using PD- and T2-weighted images, whole-brain T2-relaxation maps were calculated, normalized, and smoothed. The smoothed GM-density and T2-relaxation maps were compared voxel-by-voxel between groups using analysis of covariance (covariates, age and sex; SPM12, p < 0.001).
Results: Significantly increased GM-density, indicating tissues injury, emerged in multiple brain regions, including the cerebellum, hippocampus, amygdala, basal forebrain, insula, and frontal and prefrontal cortices. Various brain areas showed significantly reduced T2-relaxation values in CF subjects, indicating predominant acute tissue changes, in the cerebellum, cerebellar tonsil, prefrontal and frontal cortices, insula, and corpus callosum.

Conclusions: Cystic fibrosis subjects show predominant acute tissue changes in areas that control mood, cognition, respiratory, and autonomic functions and suggests that tissue changes may contribute to symptoms resulting from ongoing hypoxia accompanying the condition.

Dr Bhaswati Roy is a Post doc in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.

Rajesh Kumar is Professor of Anesthesiology and Radiological Sciences; Director of Imaging Technology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles

Francesca SaluzzoLuca RiberiBarbara MessoreNicola Ivan LoréIrene EspositoElisabetta BignaminiVirginia De Rose.   CFTR Modulator Therapies: Potential Impact on Airway Infections in Cystic Fibrosis.   Cells 2022 Apr 6;11(7):1243.doi: 10.3390/cells11071243  Free PMC article   [Pubmed]

Francesca Saluzzo

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations in the gene encoding for the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane conductance Regulator (CFTR) protein, expressed on the apical surface of epithelial cells. CFTR absence/dysfunction results in ion imbalance and airway surface dehydration that severely compromise the CF airway microenvironment, increasing infection susceptibility. Recently, novel therapies aimed at correcting the basic CFTR defect have become available, leading to substantial clinical improvement of CF patients. The restoration or increase of CFTR function affects the airway microenvironment, improving local defence mechanisms. CFTR modulator drugs might therefore affect the development of chronic airway infections and/or improve the status of existing infections in CF. Thus far, however, the full extent of these effects of CFTR-modulators, especially in the long-term remains still unknown.

This review aims to provide an overview of current evidence on the potential impact of CFTR modulators on airway infections in CF. Their role in affecting CF microbiology, the susceptibility to infections as well as the potential efficacy of their use in preventing/decreasing the development of chronic lung infections and the recurrent acute exacerbations in CF will be critically analysed.

Francesca Saluzzo is in the Emerging Bacterial Pathogens Unit, Division of Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, 20132 Milan, Italy.

Rikke M SandvikPer M GustafssonAnders LindbladFrederik BuchvaldHanne Vebert OlesenFibrosis Clinic Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, National Director South African CF Registry Steering Committee, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Sylvia SzentpeteryKimberly FoilSara HendrixSue GrayChristina MingoraBarbara HeadDonna JohnsonPatrick A Flume.  A case report of CFTR modulator administration via carrier mother to treat meconium ileus in a F508del homozygous fetusJ Cyst Fibros 2022 Apr 11;S1569-1993(22)00095-9.doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2022.04.005. Online ahead of print. [Pubmed]

Sylvia Szentpetery

We report elexacaftor-tezacaftor-ivacaftor (ETI) treatment of a F508del carrier who was pregnant with a F508del homozygous fetus. At 23-weeks gestation meconium ileus (MI) was evident on ultrasound including dilated, hyperechoic bowel, which persisted on subsequent imaging. Through shared decision-making, the mother began ETI at 32 weeks with intent to treat fetal MI. The ultrasound findings persisted at treatment day 13, but bowel dilation had resolved by imaging on treatment day 27. A female infant was delivered vaginally at 36 weeks with no complications. The mother continued ETI while breastfeeding. Stool elastase at age 2 weeks was 240 mcg/g. Sweat chloride measurement was 64 and 62 mEq/L. Maternal and infant liver function testing have been normal. Maternal ETI treatment likely led to resolution of the MI and there is evidence supporting continued infant benefit through breastmilk. Logistical and ethical considerations regarding treatment of a carrier mother for infant benefit are discussed.

Dr Sylvia Szentpetery is a pediatric pulmonologist at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29424, USA. Electronic address: szentpet@musc.edu.

Haluk TekerlekBilge Nur Yardımcı-LokmanoğluDeniz Inal-InceUğur ÖzçelikAkmer Mutlu.  Developmental Functioning Outcomes in Infants with Cystic Fibrosis: a 24- to 36-Month Follow-Up Study. Phys Ther  2022 Apr 6;pzac037.doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzac037. Online ahead of print 

Haluk Tekerlek

This study aimed to follow the developmental functioning of infants, 3 to 5 months of age, with cystic fibrosis (CF), according to recent published results based on Prechtl General Movement Assessment (GMA).
Methods: Motor repertoire was evaluated using Prechtl GMA, and developmental function was assessed using Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-Third Edition (Bayley-III) in infants with CF and their peers who were neurotypical.
Results: Twelve infants with CF clinically stable and 12 infants who were neurotypical, with respective median postterm ages of 14 and 13 weeks, were assessed using GMA. At 24 to 36 months, the Bayley-III was applied to the CF group (median postterm age = 27.5 months) and the control group (median post-term age = 27.0 months). Fidgety movements (FMs) were absent in 5 infants with CF, whereas all infants who were neurotypical had normal FMs. The Motor Optimality Score (MOS) was significantly lower in the CF group (median = 18.5) compared with the control group (median = 26). The CF group had significantly lower composite scores in the Bayley-III cognition, language, and motor domains compared to the control group.
Conclusions: Cognitive, language, and motor development was delayed in infants with CF. Developmental functioning of infants with CF should be assessed as early as possible and monitored, and age-specific early intervention programs should be considered when necessary.

Impact: Children with CF may have motor, cognitive, and language developmental delays compared with peers who are neurotypical during early childhood, and hospitalization was negatively correlated with motor development at 24 to 36 months of age. This study highlights the importance of early assessment of developmental functioning and age-specific, early intervention programs when necessary in infants with CF.

Dr Haluk Tekerlek is in the Faculty of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.

Harm A W M TiddensYuxin Chen Eleni-Rosalina AndrinopoulouStephanie D DavisMargaret RosenfeldFelix RatjenRichard A KronmalKaren D Hinckley StukovskyAlison DasiewiczStephen Michael StickSHIP-CT Study Group Collaborators.  The effect of inhaled hypertonic saline on lung structure in children aged 3-6 years with cystic fibrosis (SHIP-CT): a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, controlled trial. Lancet Respir Med 2022 Mar 11;S2213-2600(21)00546-4.doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(21)00546-4. Online ahead of print   [Pubmed]

                  Harm Tiddens

Background: In the Saline Hypertonic in Preschoolers (SHIP) study, inhaled 7% hypertonic saline improved the lung clearance index in children aged 3-6 years with cystic fibrosis, but it remained unclear whether improvement is also seen in structural lung disease. We aimed to assess the effect of inhaled hypertonic saline on chest CT imaging in children aged 3-6 years with cystic fibrosis.
Methods: Children with cystic fibrosis were enrolled in this multicentre, randomised, double-blind, controlled study at 23 cystic fibrosis centres in Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Belgium, the USA, Canada, and Australia. Eligible participants were children aged 3-6 years who were able to cooperate with chest CT imaging and comply with daily nebuliser treatment. Participants were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive inhaled 2 puffs of 100 μg salbutamol followed by 4mL of either 7% hypertonic saline or 0·9% isotonic saline twice per day for 48 weeks. Randomisation was stratified by age in North America and Australia, and by age and country in Europe. Chest CTs were obtained at baseline and 48 weeks and scored using the Perth-Rotterdam Annotated Grid Morphometric Analysis for Cystic Fibrosis (PRAGMA-CF) method. The primary outcome was the difference between groups in the percentage of total lung volume occupied by abnormal airways (PRAGMA-CF %Disease) measured by chest CT at 48 weeks. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. This study is registered withClinicaltrials.gov, NCT02950883.

Findings: Between May 24, 2016, and Dec 18, 2019, 134 children were assessed for inclusion. 18 patients were excluded (nine had incomplete or unsuccessful chest CT at enrolment visit, two could not comply with CT training, two had acute respiratory infection, two withdrew consent, two for reasons unknown, and one was already on hypertonic saline). 116 participants were enrolled and randomly assigned to hypertonic saline (n=56) or isotonic saline (n=60). 12 patients dropped out of the study (seven in the hypertonic saline group and five in the isotonic saline group). Mean PRAGMA-CF %Disease at 48 weeks was 0·88% (95% CI 0·60-1·16) in the hypertonic saline group and 1·55% (1·25-1·84) in the isotonic saline group (mean difference 0·67%, 95% CI 0·26-1·08; p=0·0092) based on a linear regression model adjusted for baseline %Disease values and baseline age. Most adverse events in both groups were rated as mild, and the most common adverse event in both groups was cough.

Interpretation: Inhaled hypertonic saline for 48 weeks had a positive effect on structural lung changes in children aged 3-6 years with cystic fibrosis relative to isotonic saline. This is the first demonstration of an intervention that alters structural lung disease in children aged 3-6 years with cystic fibrosis.

Prof. Harm A W M Tiddens is in the Department of Paediatrics, Division of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Sophia Children’s Hospital, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Monique TheberathDavid BauerWeizhi Chen Manisha SalinasArya B Mohabbat  Juan YangTony Y ChonBrent A BauerDietlind L Wahner-Roedler  Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health of children and adolescents: A systematic review of survey studies. SAGE Open Med. 2022 Mar 30;10:20503121221086712.doi: 10.1177/20503121221086712.eCollection 2022.  [Pubmed] Free PMC article

Monique Theberath

Objective: Mental health problems among children and adolescents are increasingly observed during the outbreak of COVID-1   9, leading to significant healthcare concerns. Survey studies provide unique opportunities for research during this pandemic, while there are no existing systematic reviews in this setting. The objective was to summarize existing survey studies addressing the effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children and adolescents.
Methods: For this systematic review, we performed an electronic search in multiple databases from December 2019 to December 2020. The quality appraisal of the included studies was performed with the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme Qualitative Checklist. Because of the high methodological heterogeneity between studies, a narrative synthesis of the qualitative data was used.
Results: In total, 35 survey studies with 65,508 participants, ranging from 4 to 19 years of age, are included in this review. Anxiety (28%), depression (23%), loneliness (5%), stress (5%), fear (5%), tension (3%), anger (3%), fatigue (3%), confusion (3%), and worry (3%) were the most common mental health issues reported. Children and adolescents with psychiatric and/or developmental disorders, such as severe obesity, chronic lung disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cystic fibrosis, and obsessive-compulsive disorders, were especially vulnerable to the mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Age, gender, psychological quality, and negative coping strategies were identified as risk factors for the development of mental health problems. Social and family support, along with a positive coping style, was associated with better outcomes.
Conclusion: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health of children and adolescents is multifaceted and substantial. Survey studies regarding child and adolescent mental health amid COVID-19 indicated that anxiety, depression, loneliness, stress, and tension are the most observed symptoms. Positive coping strategies with family and social support may be important to achieving better outcomes. Due to limited available evidence, more well-designed studies in this area are urgently needed.

Monique Theberath is at St Olaf College, Northfield MN, USA

Dirk Westhölter  FabianSchumacherNuria WülfinghoffSivagurunathanSutharsanSvenja StrassburgBurkhard KleuserPeter A HornSebastian ReuterErich GulbinsChristian TaubeMatthias Welsner.  CFTR modulator therapy alters plasma sphingolipid profiles in people with cystic fibrosis.  J Cyst Fibros 2022 Feb 12;S1569-1993(22)00037-6.doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2022.02.005.Online ahead of print. [Pubmed]

Dirk Westholter

Background: Sphingolipids, in particular ceramides, play an important role in the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. Ceramides seem to be dysregulated in people with CF (PWCF): An elevated ratio of ceramides C16Cer/ C24Cer has been linked to inflammation and disease severity. CFTR modulators might influence sphingolipid dysregulation in PWCF.
Methods: Sphingolipid profiles were retrospectively analyzed in serum from 112 PWCF and 96 healthy controls as well as in plasma from 25 PWCF before and after treatment with the CFTR modulator elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor (ELX/TEZ/IVA) using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Lipid data were correlated with clinical parameters.
Results: There were significantly higher levels of long-chain ceramides C18Cer and C20Cer and of the very long-chain ceramide C24:1Cer in PWCF versus healthy controls. Sphingosine levels were significantly reduced and accurately distinguished PWCF from healthy controls. Treatment with ELX/TEZ/IVA was associated with a decrease in levels of long-chain ceramides C16Cer, C18Cer and C20Cer and very long-chain ceramide C24:1Cer. Plasma levels of the most abundant very long-chain ceramide C24Cer as well as sphingosine-1-phosphate increased. Consequently, the ratio of ceramides C16Cer/ C24Cer decreased. Sphingolipid levels showed weak correlations with clinical parameters.

Conclusions: These findings highlight the existence of a distinctive sphingolipid profile in blood from PWCF, which appears to be altered by ELX/TEZ/IVA therapy. Thus, strategies for sphingolipid remodeling need to be reassessed and adjusted in the light of highly effective CFTR modulator therapies.

Dirk Westhölter  is in the Department of Pulmonary Medicine, University Hospital Essen- Ruhrlandklinik, Tüschener Weg 40, Essen 45239, Germany. Electronic address: dirk.westhoelter@uk-essen.de.

Lena WucherpfennigSimon M F TriphanSabine WegeHans-Ulrich KauczorClaus P HeusselNiclas SchmittFelix WuennemannVictoria L MayerOlaf SommerburgMarcus A MallMonika EichingerMark O Wielpütz   Magnetic resonance imaging detects improvements of pulmonary and paranasal sinus abnormalities in response to elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor therapy in adults with cystic fibrosisJ Cyst Fibros 2022 Apr 7;S1569-1993(22)00088-1.: 10.1016/j.jcf.2022.03.011.Online ahead of print. [Pubmed]

Lena Wucherpfennig

Background: Therapy with Elexacaftor/Tezacaftor/Ivacaftor (ETI) was recently approved for adult cystic fibrosis (CF) patients with at least one F508del mutation. However, its effects on structural and functional lung abnormalities and chronic rhinosinusitis have not been studied by imaging.
Methods: 19 adults with CF (mean age 31±9y, range 19-55y) underwent standardized chest magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nine also same-session sinonasal MRI, before (MRI1) and after (MRI2) at least one month (mean duration 5 ± 3mon) on ETI. 24 control CF patients (30±7y, range 20-44y) without ETI underwent longitudinal chest MRI, and eleven also sinonasal MRI, twice (mean interval 40±15mon). MRI was assessed using the validated chest MRI score and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS)-MRI score. Forced expiratory volume in 1 s percent predicted (FEV1%) was measured in all patients.
Results: In controls, the chest MRI global score and CRS-MRI sum score were stable from MRI1 to MRI2. In patients under ETI, the chest MRI global score improved (-11.4 ± 4.6, P<0.001), mainly due to reduction of bronchiectasis/wall thickening and mucus plugging subscores (-3.3 ± 2.2 and -5.2 ± 1.5, P<0.001, respectively). The improvement in chest MRI score correlated well with improved FEV1% (r=-0.703, P<0.001). The CRS-MRI sum score also improved in patients under ETI (-6.9 ± 3.0, P<0.001), mainly due to a reduction of mucopyoceles in the maxillary and ethmoid sinus (-50% and -39%, P<0.05, respectively).

Conclusions: MRI detects improvements of chest MRI and CRS-MRI scores in adult CF patients who first received ETI, demonstrating reversibility of structural lung and paranasal sinus abnormalities in patients with established disease.

Dr Lena Wucherpfennig is in the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Subdivision of Pulmonary Imaging, University Hospital Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 420, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; Translational Lung Research Center Heidelberg (TLRC), German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Im Neuenheimer Feld 156, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology with Nuclear Medicine, Thoraxklinik at University Hospital Heidelberg, Röntgenstr. 1, 69126 Heidelberg, Germany.

Marco ZampoliNataliya KashirskayaBulent KaradagLuiz Vicente Ribeiro Ferreira da Silva FilhoGrace R Paul, Christine Noke .    Global access to affordable CFTR modulator drugs: Time for action! J Cyst Fibros 2022 Mar 24;S1569-1993(22)00083-2.doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2022.03.006.Online ahead of print.

There is no abstract so the article is reproduced here

Marco Zampoli

Whilst the incredible advancements in CF treatment are to be applauded and celebrated, the reality is that only a minority of people with CF in the rich global North are benefiting from CFTRm therapy. We are therefore very grateful and encouraged by the timely and important article by Jonathan Guo et al. published recently in the Journal which highlights the stark reality and disparity that exists in CF diagnosis and treatment across the world. According to their estimates based on available data, there are 57,076 people with undiagnosed CF across the world with the highest burden likely to be in the Middle East and India. Furthermore, only 12% of estimated 105,352 people captured in global CF registries are receiving Trikafta®/Kaftrio® and the majority of them are living in North America or Western Europe. We agree with their view that paucity of epidemiological data and lack of CF diagnosis capacity in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are major barriers to advocating for effective and equitable treatment in these regions. However, there are significant CF populations living in LMICs such as South Africa, India, the Middle East, eastern Europe, and South America who currently have no access nor pathway to registration of Trikafta®/Kaftrio® which will undoubtably lead to increasing disparity in CF outcomes between the rich global North and poor global South. In these countries, the main barrier to accessing triple CFTRm therapy is not lack of diagnosis capacity, but profit-driven global market forces which are accountable more to shareholders than the health needs of the global CF community.

Global distribution and sales of CFTRm drugs and patents are in place until 2037 in many LMICs that are signatories to the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, effectively preventing manufacture and distribution of affordable generic alternatives in these countries. The current annual cost per patient of Trikafta®/Kaftrio® paid by countries with negotiated agreements is more than $250 000 which is prohibitive for governments and private health insurers in LMICs. Vertex Pharmaceuticals posted a net income of $5.7 billion in 2021 which is a bitter pill to swallow for CF communities in LMICs who are helpless and increasingly impatient with the injustice of their plight . Precedent exists where pharmaceutical companies holding patents have issued voluntary licenses to generic manufacturers to distribute, with profit, life-saving affordable generic drugs in LMICs for treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, hepatitis-C and more recently COVID-19. It is time that the global CF community stand in solidarity in support of similar issuing of voluntary licenses for the manufacture and distribution of generic CFTRm drugs.

We appeal and urge that the Journal and CF patient organizations in the global North such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and European CF Society adopt a stronger position and publish statements against the injustice of the disparity in access to CFTRm therapy for all people across the world living with CF who are eligible for this life-saving treatment. Cystic fibrosis clinicians, researchers and CF communities living in LMICs cannot endure and tolerate much longer reading and hearing about the ‘miracle’ outcomes of triple CFTRm drugs of the privileged minority in rich countries. In the meantime, we continue to patiently negotiate in good faith with Vertex Pharmaceuticals in the hope that CF communities in LMICs will soon have affordable access to this life saving treatment. But time is running out for many people slowly dying too early with CF.

Dr Marco Zampoli is Clinical Head: Cystic Fibrosis Clinic Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, National Director South African CF Registry Steering Committee, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


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