Accreditation: This course is accredited by ASRT - an approved continuing education provider of ARRT.
Release Date: 2/15/2008
Expiration Date: 3/1/2012

Medical Imaging in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis

Judith Greif, RN, MS, APNC

*Family Nurse Practitioner, East Brunswick, New Jersey.
Address correspondence to: Judith Greif, RN, MS, APNC, Family Nurse Practitioner, 50 Central Avenue, East Brunswick, NJ 08816. E-mail:

Disclosure Statement: Ms Greif reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common autosomal recessive genetic disorder among the Caucasian population, affecting approximately 30 000 children and adults in the United States and 70 000 individuals worldwide. Although the median age for survival today is vastly improved from what it was merely a generation ago, patients with CF continue to face disease-related challenges and complications on a daily basis. Improving both life expectancy and the quality of life for patients with CF is contingent upon making an accurate diagnosis and being able to access disease status and response to therapy. Radiologic technologists play a key role in this process. This article reviews the underlying etiology and pathophysiology of CF. It discusses the various imaging modalities involved in identifying and tracking the pathologic changes caused by CF, including basic modalities, such as radiographs, and newer techniques, such as high-resolution computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and the latest in what currently remains to be a primarily research-based imaging method, positron emission tomography.

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