Reversible airway obstruction in cystic fibrosis: Common, but not associated with characteristics of asthma

Hagit Levine, Malena Cohen-Cymberknoh, Nitai Klein, Moshe Hoshen, Huda Mussaffi, Patrick Stafler, Oded Breuer, Eitan Kerem, Hannah Blau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background As asthma-like symptoms are common in CF, we evaluated reversible airway obstruction and associated characteristics. Methods Retrospective analysis of charts including spirometry and bronchodilator response. Results Of 190 CF patients (103 at Schneider's, 87 at Hadassah), aged 14.4 (4–76) years, median (range), 39% had reversible obstruction (ΔFEV1% predicted ≥ 12%), associated with younger age (p = 0.01) and severe genotype (p = 0.02). There was no association with family history of asthma, serum IgE, blood eosinophils, pancreatic status, FEV1 < 40% predicted, Aspergillus or pseudomonas infection. Of patients with reversible obstruction, 74% were on bronchodilator and 68% on inhaled corticosteroid therapy but 54% and 57% respectively receiving these therapies did not have reversible obstruction. Conclusions Reversible airway obstruction is common in CF, more frequent in younger patients and with severe genotype, with no correlation to markers of atopy or CF clinical severity. Bronchodilator and inhaled corticosteroid therapies are commonly prescribed even without reversible obstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-659
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016


  • Airway obstruction
  • Asthma
  • Bronchodilator
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hyperreactivity
  • Reversibility


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