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Cystic Fibrosis

Do I have Cystic Fibrosis or Emphysema?

12/30/2009

Question:

In June 2005 I went to the ER with chest pain and was sent home. I was called later stating I had a small collapse (non-injury). In October of 2005 my entire lung collapsed and even with a chest tube would not stay up. The doctor did surgery to adhere my lung to the chest wall.

Since then, my other lung has had several small collapses. I have constant chest pain, chronic cough with thick mucus, frequent respiratory infections, sinusitis and cyst on my liver. I am only 34 years old now and find it hard to believe that there is not something more wrong with me.

Answer:

There are quite a few lung diseases that can cause the symptoms you have noted.

Cystic Fibrosis is one disease that can cause this, as are several others of the chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Other possibilities include Primary Ciliary Dyskinesis, Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency, and chronic bronchitis, to name a few. Even asthma can be associated with many of these symptoms.

There is not enough information here to determine the exact cause of your problems. The fact that you have chronic persistent pulmonary symptoms, suggests that you should consider a complete evaluation by a pulmonary specialist.

If Cystic Fibrosis is a specific concern, it may be worthwhile to see an adult cystic fibrosis specialist through an accredited CF center. An adult program in your area can be located on the web site of the CF Foundation at http://www.cff.org/.

For more information:

Go to the Cystic Fibrosis health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Patricia   Joseph, MS, MD Patricia Joseph, MS, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati