Article quick-view

[Liver disease, gastrointestinal complications, nutritional management and feeding disorders in pediatric cystic fibrosis].


In cystic fibrosis (CF), approximately 5-8% of the patients develop multilobular cirrhosis during the first decade of life. Annual screening (clinical examination, liver biochemistry, ultrasonography) is recommended in order to identify early signs of liver involvement, initiate ursodeoxycholic acid therapy and detect complications (portal hypertension and liver failure). Management should focus on nutrition and prevention of variceal bleeding. The gut may also be involved in children with CF. Gastroesophageal reflux is frequent, although often neglected and should be investigated by pH monitoring and impedancemetry, if available. Acute pancreatitis occurs in patients with persistent exocrine pancreatic activity. Intussusception, appendicular mucocele, distal intestinal occlusion syndrome, small bowel bacterial overgrowth and Clostridium difficile colitis should be considered in case of abdominal pain. Preventive nutritional support should be started as soon as possible after diagnosis of CF. Attainment of normal growth is one of the main goals and can be achieved with hypercaloric and salt supplemented food. Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy should be started as soon as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is confirmed and ingested immediately prior to meals with intake of fat-soluble vitamins. Curative nutritional interventions are more likely to be effective in the early stages of pulmonary disease. Feeding disorders, related to the physiopathology and the psychologic aspects of the disease are frequent. Repeated corporeal aggressions, associated with inappropriate medical and parental pressure, may increase the child's refusal of food. The multidisciplinary team should guide parents in order to avoid all intrusive feeding practices and promote pleasant mealtimes.