Vitamins A and E and pulmonary exacerbations in patients with cystic fibrosis

Fahed Hakim, Eitan Kerem, Joseph Rivlin, Lea Bentur, Halina Stankiewicz, Tali Bdolach-Abram, Michael Wilschanski

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61 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Increased levels of oxidative stress result in pulmonary damage contributing to the development of chronic lung disease in cystic fibrosis (CF). The aim of this study was to investigate the longitudinal effect of serum vitamin A and E levels on the incidence of pulmonary exacerbations in pancreatic insufficient (PI) and pancreatic sufficient (PS) patients with CF. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patient records were retrospectively examined over a 3-year period and serum vitamin A and E levels were retrieved. Subsequently, levels of vitamin A and E were prospectively measured over a 2-year period at the onset of intravenous antibiotic therapy for acute exacerbation and at the first recovery visit. RESULTS: Retrospectively, 597 pulmonary exacerbations were identified in 102 patients, 74 PI and 28 PS, with a mean age of 11.1 ± 6.4 years (range, 1.5-27 y). An increased number of exacerbations was directly correlated with lower vitamin A and E levels, even within the normal range. Prospectively, 62 exacerbations were analyzed (43 PI patients and 19 PS patients). At onset of exacerbation, vitamin A and E levels were reduced in the PI patients (P < 0.001; P < 0.001) and the PS patients (P < 0.005; P < 0.07). CONCLUSIONS: Reduced serum levels of vitamin A and E even in the normal range are associated with an increased rate of pulmonary exacerbations in CF. Further studies are required to confirm the necessity of supplementation of vitamins A and E to PS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-353
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pancreatic sufficiency
  • Pulmonary exacerbation
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E


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