Purpose of review
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is commonly associated with compromised growth especially in severe cases when the pulmonary function (PFT) deteriorates. As growth optimization is an important aspect of CF management, this review will summarize the current knowledge on the prevalence of growth failure in CF patients, and focus on the mechanisms leading to poor growth, on the association of poor linear growth with reduced PFT and on recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) therapy in CF patients.
Despite the improvement in CF care in the last 2 decades, compromised linear growth is still quite prevalent. The pathophysiology of growth failure in CF is multifactorial. Malnutrition due to decreased energy intake increased energy expenditure and malabsorption of ingested nutrients secondary to pancreatic insufficiency, all probably play a major role in growth restriction. In addition, chronic inflammation characteristic of CF may contribute to growth failure via alteration in the GH-insulin-like growth factor 1 signaling and other changes in the growth plate. rhGH and new CFTR modulators may improve some growth parameters.
Beyond optimizing nutrition and malabsorption, and controlling chronic inflammation, children with CF may benefit from the anabolic effects of rhGH therapy to improve their anthropometric parameters. Whether this translates into better PFT and improved long-term outcomes is yet to be determined.