Pitfall in the use of genotype analysis as the sole diagnostic criterion for cystic fibrosis

Carolyn M. Kercsmar, James F. Chmiel, Mitchell L. Drumm, Michael W. Konstan, Thomas W. Ferkol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


In this report, we present an asymptomatic infant, seen for a second opinion, who was given the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis (CF) as a neonate based on the presence of two mutant alleles, ΔF508 and R117H. The diagnosis of CF adversely affected the family's emotional, employment, and financial statuses. Our evaluation included sweat chloride, nasal transepithelial potential difference, and bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage measurements, all which were consistent with findings expected from an individual without CF. Genotype analysis for the sequence polymorphism in intron 8 of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene revealed the 7 thymidines and 9 thymidines alleles. We conclude that this patient probably expresses enough epithelial cell surface CFTR function such that she has a normal phenotype. Based on our evaluation, she does not meet the current diagnostic criteria for CF. Although genotype analysis can be an useful adjunct, it should not be the sole diagnostic criterion for CF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-826
Number of pages4
Issue number4 I
StatePublished - Apr 1999


  • CFTR
  • Genetic testing
  • Phenotype


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