Background: Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) who experience acute declines in percent predicted FEV 1 (ppFEV 1 decreased ≥10% relative to baseline) are often not treated with antibiotics for pulmonary exacerbations (PEx), whereas other patients are treated even when they have not experienced a decline in lung function. Methods: We analyzed 2 patient cohorts using 3 years of Epidemiologic Study of CF data. Cohort 1 (12,837 patients) experienced a ≥10% acute decline in ppFEV 1 (n = 22,898) and Cohort 2 (10,416 patients) had a clinician-diagnosed PEx (n = 20,731). Results: 70.7% of ≥10% decline events were treated with antibiotics; with intravenous antibiotics used 67.1% of the time. 32.0% of clinician-diagnosed PEx declined <10%; with intravenous antibiotics used 36.9% of the time. Conclusions: A clinician's decision to diagnose a PEx and treat with antibiotics often is not defined by measured lung function: a ≥10% FEV 1 decline is not considered an absolute indication of a PEx and the lack of a decline does not contraindicate a PEx. Clinicians appear to use the history of prior PEx plus other variables as factors for diagnosing PEx.
- Cystic fibrosis
- Lung function
- Pulmonary exacerbations
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine