Most CF patients have 3 distinct abnormal characteristics.
First, the ducts of the mucus-secreting glands are obstructed due to an increase
in viscosity of these secretions leading to glandular dilatation and destruction.
Second, CF patients are prone to chronic bacterial colonization and infections.
Third, the sweat glands are not obstructed in CF patients because in serous glands
such as sweat glands there are abnormal concentrations of inorganic ions, rather
than glandular obstruction with thick mucus. The quantitative pilocarpine
iontophoresis sweat test is a uniformly accepted method for diagnosing CF. The
sweat gland ducts must be patent for this test. Obstruction of airways leads to
bronchiectasis and atelectasis; pancreatic duct obstruction leads to pancreatitis
and malabsorption; and plugging of bile ducts leads to obstructive jaundice.
- Sweat glands.
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Seminars in Medical Practice
Hospital Physician Board Review Manuals
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