Cystic Fibrosis

What is cystic fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a common hereditary (inherited) chronic disease that can affect multiple parts of a child’s body — most commonly the lungs and digestive system. "Fibrosis" refers to an excessive amount of fibrous connective tissue in an organ. In cystic fibrosis, this build-up leads to cysts forming, most commonly in the lungs and pancreas. This defective gene causes the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:

  • clogs the lungs and leads to lung infections
  • obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food

Care for cystic fibrosis

The  Cystic Fibrosis Center at Boston Children's is one of the oldest and largest cystic fibrosis centers in the United States. Caring for more than 600 children and adults each year, we provide services ranging from evaluation and diagnosis to treatment and patient education.

Our center is staffed by an experienced, multidisciplinary team of clinicians, all of whom have specialized training in the care of patients with cystic fibrosis. This approach ensures a thoughtful discussion of every treatment possibility in every case. Your child is in excellent hands with us.