Lungs and Breathing

Main Content

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening inherited disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system. A defective gene causes the body to produce thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs, obstructs the pancreas, and keeps enzymes from breaking down food and absorbing important nutrients.

CF is caused by mutations in a gene that produces a protein called CFTR that controls the flow of salt and water in and out of the cells in organs such as the lungs and pancreas. The mutation causes mucus, normally a watery substance, to build up in your lungs, block airways, and cause bacterial infections.

The symptoms and severity of CF vary for each person. Some have serious lung and digestive problems. Other have a more mild form of the disease that doesn't show up until they are teens or young adults. Research continues to look for better treatments and a cure.

See Children’s of Mississippi Cystic Fibrosis services.

Why cystic fibrosis care at UMMC is different

UMMC is home to the only Cystic Fibrosis Center in the state. Here, pulmonary specialists evaluate and provide disease management and care for patients of all ages. Patients are typically transitioned from the pediatric to the adult program between the ages of 18 and 21.

At UMMC, patients find a continuum of care involving physicians, nurses, dietitians, respiratory therapists, social workers, and physical therapists who work together to fully meet each person's unique health care needs. We also connect patients to other medical specialists if needed.

We're available from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday to answer any questions about your care.

  • Call our patient care coordinator at (601) 984-5650.
  • During after-hours, weekends, or holidays, call (601) 984-5650 and ask for the pulmonary fellow on call.

Services we offer

  • Spirometry (breathing tests)
  • Flu and pneumonia vaccines
  • Laboratory testing
  • Sputum cultures
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Oxygen saturation
  • Body plethysmography
  • Diagnostic X-rays
  • Nutritional therapy evaluation
  • Respiratory therapy evaluation