Radiologic diagnosis of cystic fibrosis in adults and children

Judith Korek Amorosa, Lourdes R. Laraya-Cuasay, Lorna Sohn, Debra M. Loeb, Nancy L. Geller, Mario Stylianou, John L. Nosher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives.: Most radiologists are familiar with the classic chest radiographic findings of cystic fibrosis (CF) when these occur in children. We hypothesized that given the same findings, a diagnosis of CF would be less likely to be considered in an adult than in a child. Methods.: We compiled 30 pediatric and 28 adult CF chest radiographs and obtained two independent readings on each by different general radiologists among the eight who volunteered to participate as they performed their daily clinical work. The cases were presented to the readers so that they did not know which radiographs were part of the study. The association between the correct diagnosis of CF and whether the patient was an adult or a child was assessed using odds ratios and logistic regression, so that Brasfield score, Schwachman-Kulczycki score, and the patient's sex could also be considered as predictive of correct diagnosis. Results.: In 67% of the pediatric cases, at least one of the radiologists considered CF as a possible diagnosis, whereas they considered CF a possibility in only 50% of the adults. Both radiologists suggested the correct diagnosis in 40% of pediatric cases and only 14% of adult cases (p < .05). Conclusion.: Because the radiographic findings were similar in the two groups of patients according to severity groupings, we believe CF was less commonly considered in the adult patient because of the traditional belief that CF is a childhood disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-225
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


  • Brasfield score
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Shwachman-Kulczyeki classification
  • chest radiograph
  • differential diagnosis of chronic lung disease


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