Recurrent infections or other environmental-internal factors, rather than abnormal development, appear to be involved in the tracheobronchial gland hypertrophy and hypersecretion noted in older cystic fibrosis patients.
That is the conclusion of researchers at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, who say that "this observation emphasizes the importance of aggressive prophylactic therapy to prevent and eradicate infection in the long-term care" of these patients, many of whom now are surviving into adulthood.
Jennifer M. Sturgess, PhD, and John Imrie, BSc, examined autopsy specimens from 25 infants who did not have cystic fibrosis and from 22 infants with the disease and either no history of meconium ileus or meconium ileus with or without evidence of lung infection.
The tracheal submucosal gland development pattern was similar in infants both with and without cystic fibrosis. However, the infants with cystic fibrosis had increased dilatation of the gland lumens.
The investigators hypothesized, but were unable