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Rady Children's Specialists

Cystic Fibrosis Children's Center


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Cystic Fibrosis Overview

The Rady Children’s/UC San Diego Cystic Fibrosis Center, directed by Kathryn Akong, M.D., Ph.D., provides comprehensive care for children with cystic fibrosis and their families. The center is led by healthcare professionals, and accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as a patient care, teaching, and research center, and has been designated a Therapeutic Development Center for research of new cystic fibrosis treatments.

Inpatient care and home care services are available through the Hospital. Adult inpatient services are provided through the adult Cystic Fibrosis center at UC San Diego.

Our multidisciplinary team of health professionals at the cystic fibrosis children’s center includes:

  • Physician specialists
  • Nurse specialists
  • Respiratory care practitioners
  • Dietitians
  • Physical therapists
  • Social workers
  • Child life specialists
  • Pharmacists who provide cystic fibrosis treatments
  • Genetics counselors
  • Research coordinator
  • Consulting specialists (such as gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, otolaryngologists)

About Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease affecting 30,000 people of almost all races in the United States. In people with cystic fibrosis, exocrine (outward-secreting) glands in many parts of the body are not able to handle salt and water normally. These glands make mucus that is very thick and sticky which causes plugging in the ducts and passageways of the lungs, pancreas, and intestines. In the lungs, thick mucus fills the airways and causes chronic lung infections, inflammation, and breathing problems. Digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas aren’t delivered to the intestines, and thick mucus in the intestines causes problems with growth and nutrition. Sweat glands in the skin lose too much salt causing problems with dehydration in hot weather.

Although it is a genetic condition we treat, not all children with cystic fibrosis have the same signs and symptoms, and some are sicker than others. Most often, the disease is diagnosed shortly after birth by Newborn Screening, but it can also be diagnosed in adults.

If you are interested in finding out more information about our cystic fibrosis children’s center, please contact the Pulmonary Medicine offices at 858-966-5846. If you are concerned you or your child has cystic fibrosis, please discuss with your primary care provider or pediatrician.

Patient Education

Quarterly Newsletter

Click the link below to view our current and past newsletters. Each edition is released quarterly.

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Video: Cystic Fibrosis Clinic

Clínica de Fibrosis Quística

Our Cystic Fibrosis Center Team of Health Professionals with The Distractors