Differential diagnosis of complications of cystic fibrosis

Approach to the differential diagnosis of complications of cystic fibrosis:

  • Uncomplicated meconium ileus is a common presentation of cystic fibrosis
  • Pulmonary infection as patients are colonized by Haemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonous aeruginosa (most common)
  • Bronchiectasis is a result of bacterial colonization
  • Pulmonary hemorrhage from bronchial artery hypertrophy caused by infection as focal infection can erode into artery
  • Cirrhosis from fatty infiltration
  • Distal intestinal obstruction syndrome can be presumed when a patient with cystic fibrosis presents with abdominal pain and stool in their distal small bowel