Bronchial and Airway Disorders

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Information for Patients




What is Mucociliary Clearance?  

Mucociliary clearance is the primary mechanism by which we keep our airways free from debris and pathogens. Mucociliary clearance is profoundly impaired in both PCD and CF.

Here is a video showing effective mucociliary clearance in real time. The white particles are being moved up the airway by mucociliary clearance.

This video comparison of normal vs. PCD cilia demonstrates the profound impairment of mucociliary clearance in the PCD airway.

About CFRI

The Cystic Fibrosis Research Institute (CFR) was formed in 1975 by a group of parents whose children with CF were not expected to survive their teen years. Our mission is to be a global resource for the cystic fibrosis community while pursuing a cure through research, education, advocacy, and support., while our vision is find a cure for cystic fibrosis while enhancing quality of life for the CF community.

About CF

Learn about cystic fibrosis, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

Cystic Fibrosis and COVID-19 Video Q & A Series

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, CFRI has conducted weekly Question and Answer sessions with Dr. Richard Moss, CF clinician and researcher, who addresses questions submitted by the national CF community on the impact of COVID-19 upon those with cystic fibrosis.

Cystic Fibrosis and Hemoptysis

Hemoptysis - the expectoration of blood - occurs with many individuals with CF due to inflammation in the airways. Dr. Paul Mohabir, Director of the Adult CF Center at Stanford discusses the epidemiology, occurrence rates, and treatment options for those experiencing hemoptysis.

Advances in Lung Transplantation

Dr. Rupal Shah and Dr. Jasleen Kukreja, both of UC San Francisco, review the transplantation process, from the initial evaluation to post-transplant outcomes, for recipients with cystic fibrosis, and provide an overview of the newest innovations in lung transplant care for patients with CF.

Cystic Fibrosis and Mental Health

A large international study found that those impacted by cystic fibrosis – both individuals with CF and their caregivers – have far higher rates of depression and anxiety than the general population. Addressing mental health issues is vital to physical health and wellbeing.

Cystic Fibrosis Among the Asian Community

Cystic fibrosis is thought to be extremely rare in the Asian community, often leading to late or incorrect diagnoses for patients. Researchers at Stanford have analyzed national CF registry data and determined that rates of CF among the South Asian population are higher than previously recognized.

Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes

Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes (CFRD) is one of the most common complications of CF, affecting 40% to 50% of all adults with CF. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital for preserving lung function, as uncontrolled CFRD is linked to survival.

Cystic Fibrosis and Sexual Reproductive Health

As individuals with cystic fibrosis are living longer, the issue of sexual and reproductive health is vitally important to address. Dr. Traci Kazmerski, pulmonologist at UPMC Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, discusses delayed puberty, urinary incontinence, fertility, contraception, parenthood, and other reproductive issues that are increasingly addressed as part of the CF care model.

Cystic Fibrosis and Bone Health

Due to poor absorption, prednisone use, inflammation, and CFTR dysfunction, individuals with CF are prone to early osteopenia and osteoporosis. Dr. Vinayak Jha, pulmonologist the Adult CF Center at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, discusses the impact of CF upon bone health, the importance of monitoring bone density, and available interventions.

Advocacy and Awareness Building

Raising awareness of cystic fibrosis is vital to ensure research funding, the fast-tracking of review of CF therapies by the FDA, and unfettered access to treatment and therapies.

CFRI-Funded Research

CFRI funds innovative research at educational and medical institutions nationwide. CFRI’s investment in new ideas has enabled researchers at well-established academic and medical institutions across the United States to bring new perspectives to the study of this disease.

Other CF-Related Organizations and Resources

CFRI works closely with other CF-related organizations to share resources and support.


ATS Patient Information Series

The ATS Patient Information Series is a public service of the American Thoracic Society and its journal the AJRCCM ( The information appearing in this series is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the medical advice of one’s personal health care provider.