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High Serum Retinol and Lung Function in Young Patients With Cystic Fibrosis

Rivas-Crespo, M. Francisco*; Jiménez, David González*; Acuña Quirós, Maria D.; Aguirre, Amaia Sojo; González, Soledad Heredia§; Díaz Martín, Juan J.*; Garagorri Otero, Jesús M.||; Almarza, Aurora Lázaro||; Bousoño-García, Carlos*

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition:
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e31828b1d90
Original Articles: Hepatology and Nutrition

Objective: The aim of the present study was to explore the relation between lung function and serum retinol (SR) in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in a group of 98 young patients with CF (6.8–22.3 years), after the exclusion of those with pulmonary exacerbation, vitamin A deficiency, or other risks, from an initial group of 124 cases.

Results: Data of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) were widely scattered (87.7% ± 16.9%). These were similar in the 78 pancreatic insufficient and 11 pancreatic sufficient patients. SR (56.6 ± 18.4 μg/dL) was >2.5th percentile of healthy people in the whole group, although 31 patients were situated above the 97.5th percentile (higher value: 110 μg/dL). The FEV1 was noticeably higher in these than in those within the normal range (93.6 ± 14.0 vs 85.0 ± 17.6 μg/dL; P < 0.05). The z score of SR correlated positively with FEV1 (r = 0.364; P = 0.000), after adjusting data for sex, age, body mass index, and pancreatic function. The odds ratio for a FEV1 >80% is 3.78 in patients with SR above the 97.5th percentile, versus only 0.26 in those within the normal range. There were no cases with retinol toxicity.

Conclusions: FEV1 of young patients with CF correlates positively with SR, regardless of age, pancreatic function, or nutritional condition. Those with a moderately high retinol (up to 110 μg/dL) maintain the best respiratory function (FEV1 ≥80% in >90% of them) without any signs of toxicity.

Author Information

*Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition and Endocrinology Units, University of Oviedo, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo

Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Hospital Infantil Universitario Niño Jesús, Madrid

Gastroenterology and Cystic Fibrosis Unit, Hospital Universitario de Cruces, Bilbao

§Pediatric Gastroenterology Unit, Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet, Zaragoza

||Pediatric Gastroenterology and Endocrinology Units, University of Zaragoza, Spain.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Prof M. Francisco Rivas-Crespo, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, C/ Celestino Villamil, s/n 33006 Oviedo, Spain (e-mail:

Received 13 October, 2012

Accepted 1 February, 2013

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright 2013 by ESPGHAN and NASPGHAN