Background: Malnutrition is both a frequent feature and a comorbidity of cystic fibrosis (CF), with nutritional status strongly associated with pulmonary function and survival. Nutritional management is therefore standard of care in CF patients. ESPEN, ESPGHAN and ECFS recommended guidelines to cover nutritional management of patients with CF.
Methods: The guidelines were developed by an international multidisciplinary working group in accordance with officially accepted standards. The GRADE system was used for determining grades of evidence and strength of recommendation. Statements were discussed, submitted to Delphi rounds, reviewed by ESPGHAN and ECFS and accepted in an online survey among ESPEN members.
Results: The Working Group recommends that initiation of nutritional management should begin as early as possible after diagnosis, with subsequent regular follow up and patient/family education. Exclusive breast feeding is recommended but if not possible a regular formula is to be used. Energy intake should be adapted to achieve normal weight and height for age. When indicated, pancreatic enzyme and fat soluble vitamin treatment should be introduced early and monitored regularly. Pancreatic sufficient patients should have an annual assessment including fecal pancreatic elastase measurement. Sodium supplementation is recommended and a urinary sodium:creatinine ratio should be measured, corresponding to the fractional excretion of sodium. If iron deficiency is suspected, the underlying inflammation should be addressed. Glucose tolerance testing should be introduced at 10 years of age. Bone mineral density examination should be performed from age 8-10 years. Oral nutritional supplements followed by polymeric enteral tube feeding are recommended when growth or nutritional status is impaired. Zinc supplementation may be considered according to the clinical situation. Further studies are required before essential fatty acids, anti-osteoporotic agents, growth hormone, appetite stimulants and probiotics can be recommended.
Conclusion: Nutritional care and support should be an integral part of management of CF. Obtaining a normal growth pattern in children and maintaining an adequate nutritional status in adults are major goals of multidisciplinary cystic fibrosis centers.