Penn Lung Center

Adult Cystic Fibrosis and Bronchiectasis

The Adult Cystic Fibrosis and Bronchiectasis Program at the Penn Lung Center provides comprehensive clinical care and counseling for patients over the age of 18 who have cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis and related pulmonary diseases.

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a disease passed down through families that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract and other areas of the body. This life-threatening disorder is one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and young adults.

The Penn Lung Center's Cystic Fibrosis Program was established in 1980.  The program is accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and has enrolled one of the largest patient populations in the nation.  Penn is also active in cystic fibrosis clinical research.

As CF patients reach adulthood, their health care needs become more complex as the disease begins to impact other organ systems.  Penn works closely with the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP) to seamlessly transition patients from pediatric care into the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program.

Every patient experience is unique, but the primary goal of the Penn Lung Center is to help all patients achieve and maintain their best possible quality of life by:

  • Reducing breathing difficulties and coughing.
  • Preventing infections.
  • Treating infections early.

Bronchiectasis (non-Cystic Fibrosis)

About one-third of all cases of bronchiectasis are caused by cystic fibrosis, but many patients diagnosed with bronchiectasis have non-cystic fibrosis (nonCF) bronchiectatis.

Bronchiectasis is the dilation or enlargement and scarring of the lung's airways. It is often caused by recurrent inflammation or infection that injures the walls of the airways and prevents them from clearing mucous. Symptoms include a persistent cough, excessive sputum production, shortness of breath and recurrent chest infections. With treatment, most patients are able to enjoy active, healthy lives.

The Penn Lung Center offers patients leading-edge treatment and management of their disease, supplemented by a state-of-the-art microbiology lab. At the lab, a team of lung pathology specialists conduct in-depth analyses of bacterial cultures to make accurate diagnoses of nonCF bronchiectasis.