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New Method for Detecting Early Lung Disease in Infants and Preschool Children with Cystic Fibrosis

News 10-2014 EN

DZLresearchers from the TLRC site publish breakthrough method for non-invasive early diagnosis of pulmonary changes in infants and young children with cystic fibrosis

In patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), a congenital, incurable multisystem disease, destructive changes to the lung start long before the first symptoms appear.  Visualizing these early changes is important so that doctors can choose appropriate treatment regimens to help control disease progression.  Until now, seeing progressive lung disease in young CF patients required the use of computed tomography (CT) scans.  These scans involve exposure to ionizing radiation which limits their use on a routine basis, particularly in children.  As published in the “American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine” researchers at the Translational Lung Research Center (TLRC) in Heidelberg have now shown that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to diagnose early changes in the lungs.  MRI is a non-invasive, radiation-free imaging modality. These results support the development of MRI for noninvasive monitoring and as an end point in early intervention trials without radiation exposure

"This study is a breakthrough for the early diagnosis and treatment of this congenital lung disease," says senior author DZL Director Professor Dr. Marcus Mall , Medical Director of the Department of Pulmonology at the Translational Centre for Translational Lung Research ( TLRC ) and director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center at the University Hospital Heidelberg. Seven DZL investigators collaborated on the paper, including lead author Dr. Mark Wielpütz.  The paper was selected for the cover of the April 15, 2014 issue of the “American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine” and was published along with an accompanying editorial.

For additional information please see the press release (in German) from the University of Heidelberg.

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