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The UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital Pediatric and Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center is a combined accredited pediatric and adult care center. Our center offers comprehensive clinical care, research and educational support for newborns screen patient, as well as infants, children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis. Patients may be referred by their physician for diagnostic testing by sweat-chloride analysis, the current gold-standard for CF testing. Further genetic testing is also performed to characterize specific gene mutations and help guide a patient-centered therapy plan.
Pediatric Care - From Birth Through Adolescence
Cystic fibrosis is a genetically inherited disease that primarily affects a child's lungs and digestive system. Children with cystic fibrosis have a defective gene and its protein product causes the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus. This sticky mucus obstructs the lungs, which can lead to life-threatening lung infections, obstruct the pancreas and stop natural enzymes form helping the body break down food and absorb vital nutrients. Approximately 30,000 children and adults in the U.S. suffer from cystic fibrosis.
Since cystic fibrosis care is complex, our team of clinicians administers state-of-the-art testing methods and provides clinical care that is custom-tailored to the needs of each individual child. Our patients receive thorough routine evaluations and treatment for acute and chronic problems. Our medical team consists of physicians, nurses, social workers, dieticians, and respiratory therapists, and we deliver several unique services ranging from evaluation, diagnosis and patient education. We also offer sweat testing for the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis in addition to genetic counseling and testing. We are committed to utilizing our knowledge and skills to optimally care for your child and provide the most effective services and efficient patient care. In addition to quarterly visits by our Core CF Team (see below), patients are evaluated and treated by additional subspecialists in endocrinology, gastroenterology, psychiatry and infectious diseases during scheduled clinic visits, depending on their unique needs.
Adults with Cystic Fibrosis
Today about half of all cystic fibrosis patients in the United States are adults, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Patient Registry. This remarkable statistic represents significant progress in the care of patients with the autosomal recessive disorder. More effective therapies in childhood and the emergence of detailed treatment guidelines have extended the median predicted survival age to 40.
The growing number of adults with cystic fibrosis has created a need for specialized services unique to this population. UCLA has opened a Cystic Fibrosis clinic focused on patients ages 18 and older. The clinic is part of UCLA’s Cystic Fibrosis Program, which was recently accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Convenient Care for Patients on the Westside
The pediatric and adult cystic fibrosis programs at UCLA offer convenient and coordinated care to better serve patients on the Westside of Los Angeles. Because there are so many guidelines in how you manage cystic fibrosis, it's important that patients receive care at a specialized center. We have access to all the specialists a patient might need and careful attention is devoted to the seamless transition of pediatric cystic fibrosis patients to adult care.
What used to be a pediatric disease has become a disease of adulthood. As these patients enter adulthood, they have to take more responsibility in caring for themselves. Education about the disease becomes very important. It can be hard to adhere to treatments. Patients need a medical team that understands and helps them with compliance.